- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: Berenice

Also known as:

Year: 2014

Genre: Short / Independent / Horror

Language: English

Runtime: 20 min

Director: Jeremiah Kipp

Writer: Jeremiah Kipp


Edward's cousin Berenice is coming to visit the family. Edward is quick to remember some time spent with his cousin in the past, but he can't even begin to fathom what it's going to be like when she returns and they get to clear up some unfinished business.

Our thoughts:
This Jeremiah Kipp short, written and directed by him, is made for a short film anthology called "Creepers", also featuring filmmakers Mike T. Lamberson and Gregory Lamberson. Kipp's short, "Berenice", is based on Edgar Allan Poe's story of the same name, but done with Kipp's own take on the story.

Berenice is a young girl who is coming to visit her cousin Edward and his family. The two of them have had a few strange things happening between them in the past, and when she comes to visit the feelings of the past have awoken. A sexual tension is brewing between the two as Edward starts fantisizing about Berenice. But something's not quite right about her and she's starting to get sick soon after arriving.

I can't recall enough of the short story by Poe to say exactly how different (or similar) this really is - though I intend to change that soon. But I can safely say that Jeremiah Kipp has taken some liberties and turned this into his own. There's enough Poe in it still, though, for him to have some things to follow. Unfortunately I think that while the story itself is okay, this wasn't told in a way that made it interesting to me. I think the idea of Edward's obsessive personality, the tension between him and the cousin, and her illness, bring a great mix of emotions to play, but there's just not enough time to investigate further into either of them.

The short is a more traditional horror short than I've come to expect from Jeremiah Kipp, but I'm okay with seeing that side of him as well. It's not a poorly made short, and some scenes are effective, but in the end it would've needed more time or be told differently for the tale to shine. It feels like it's on rails just so that it can bring us the climax, but when there wasn't enough time to get invested prior to the climax it ends up lacking.

Positive things:
- Always fun to see filmmakers' takes on authors like Poe.
- Overall a good production, as expected from Jeremiah Kipp.
- Doesn't shy away from some nudity!

Negative things:
- It doesn't seem like the entire story is able to be told in this runtime.

Gore: 1/5
Nudity: 3/5
Story: 2.5/5
Effects: 2.5/5
Comedy: 0/5

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