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The Independent Critic

Timothy J. Cox, Cameron Rankin and Tiffany Browne-Tavarez
Matthew Mahler
Matthew Mahler, Ross Mahler
8 Mins.

 "Dark Romance" a 48-Hour Film Project Short 

Originally made as part of a 48-Hour Film Project, Dark Romance is an eight-minute darkly comical horror short about Tim Cooper (Timothy J. Cox), a driven advertising executive who is respected in his office and adored by his secretary (Tiffany Browne-Tavarez). Unexpectedly, Tim starts to receive cards and gifts in his office from a secret admirer, gifts that at first are appreciated and rather sweet but quickly turn into much more.

Co-written by Ross and Matthew Mahler and directed by Matthew Mahler, Dark Romance is pretty much what you'd expect from a 48-hour film put together on an estimated $500 budget. The film goes for the most part exactly as you expect and is plagued by severe sound issues that mute any potential for actual suspense or scares. While the performances are for the most part fine, Dark Romance benefits from an infusion of comedy that I'm sure played well within the framework of the actual contest.

While Dark Romance isn't a particularly effective film, it's effective enough that one almost wishes the team would take the time to re-shoot the film with enough time and cash to really explore the film's darkness. Quirky yet for the most part sterile, Dark Romance is an interesting idea that never really comes to life. Or death.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic