Leaves are crunching beneath your feet and the Pumpkin Ale is flowing like water. That can mean only one thing, spooky season is here. And to help celebrate the creepiest time of year, we’ve got a bevy of frightful flicks coming to the short-form corner here at Cut Print Film. So lock your doors, kill the lights and try to keep your eyes open for the pitch-black comedy of Ray Sullivan’s Self-Assembly.
The Plot: Reeling from the death of their son, a young couple tries to move on by raising a new child that’s a little bit … different.
We watch a lot of short films. Few of them have gotten under our skin quite the way Self-Assembly has. Combining the creepy quirk of Tim Burton with the visceral nightmares of David Lynch and the twisted morality of Frank Miller, Self-Assembly serves up an absurdist tale of post-trauma tribulation unlike anything we’ve seen before.
We’ll try and keep this as spoiler-free as possible because, well, we don’t want to ruin a single second of Ray Sullivan’s unnerving little comedy. Yes, at its heart, Self-Assembly is a comedy. It’s just the sort of comedy that’ll leave you wincing and cringing and questioning your own sense of humor when you invariably find yourself snickering at the madness unfolding in front of you.
And Ray Sullivan – along with his dynamic production team – takes immeasurable pleasure in pushing Self-Assembly into the darkest corners of comedy available … and then pushes it a little bit further. Make no mistake, it’s that last little push that sets the film apart. And that extra nudge into darkness pits the film’s supremely twisted sense of humor against its tragically moralistic underbelly.
Those battling factions of light and dark are captured in the stunning, black and white photography of DP Terry Warren. But Sullivan & Co. also use those blacks and whites to pay homage to the comic strip pages that served as Self-Assembly‘s source material. With the addition of Bobby McGlynn’s uncanny make-up effects, Sullivan bring that strange, comic world to frightening life. That world is as stylized as it is pragmatic and as haunting as it is hilarious. Living in it for even 12 minutes is an utterly disquieting experience. And it’s as likely to make you laugh out loud as it is to give you nightmares.
Meet The Crew:
Produced, Edited & Directed by: Ray Sullivan Written by: Garrett Shanley Based on the Comic Created by: Gar Shanley & Cathal Duggan Starring: Darryl Kinsella, Amy Kirwin and Bobby McGlynn Director of Photography: Terry Warren Special Creature Effects by: Bobby McGlynn Visual Effects by: Ray Sullivan & John McMahon
We hope you enjoy Self-Assembly! Ray Sullivan’s twisted little black comedy spent 2015 freaking out festival goers across the globe. And Sullivan wasted little time in capitalizing on the film’s success. He’s gone on to direct a segment of the horror anthology World Of Death and his own sci-fi short Good Business in the two years since. Seems like it’s only a matter of time before Sullivan gets his first crack at a feature. Until that happens, you can check out more of his work over at his Vimeo page. Just FYI – his short film Maisie is well worth a view.
While you’re there, be sure to check out some of the thousands of other short films – scary, scarier and scariest – team Vimeo has curated for your viewing pleasure (via desktop or mobile device … SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting, and you may just stumble across your new favorite filmmaker.