Short films matter. Vimeo wants you to know it. So do we. That’s we’re taking a weekly look at some of some of the short film world’s best and brightest. This week, we bring you Neville Pierce’s gothic chiller Bricks.
The Plot: A wealthy man seeks to right a perceived wrong at the hands of a bricklayer.
The term “inspired by” is one that’s tossed around a lot in the film world. Sometimes a film is inspired by actual events. Other times they take inspiration from characters and stories from the annals of literature. Of course, if you’re out make an eerie little horror thriller, then there’s no better writer to “borrow” inspiration from than the master of the macabre himself, Edgar Allan Poe. That’s exactly who Neville Pierce and Jamie Russell looked to when they set out to write Bricks. Set in the claustrophobic confines of darkened cellar, their creepy little tale of social slights and stilted vengeance will seem more than a little familiar to fans of Poe’s classic short story The Cask of Amontillado, but Bricks is more a chilling reimagining of the Poe classic than a straight adaptation.
Make no mistake, the central elements from Poe’s tale – a perceived insult, a fancy bottle of wine, and a stack of bricks – are very much a part of Pierce’s film. So too is the slow burning style that makes the story such a ghoulish delight to read. Rather than make Bricks‘ central characters societal acquaintances, though, Pierce and Russell pit the pair as a wealthy stock trader and the commoner he employs to do some brick work at his country home. As such, Bricks plays as a scathing statement on class structures than a straight tale of misguided social justice. At the heart of that statement is an unnervingly sinister performance from Blake Ritson who brings an exacting, seething sense of righteousness to his role as the unhinged Englishman.
Ritson’s performance alone makes Brick worth a look. That the film is beautifully paced, stunningly photographed, and features marvelously moody original music from David Julyan (The Prestige) is just icing on the cake. Or mortar on the brick, if you please.
Meet The Crew:
Directed by: Neville Pierce Written by: Neville Pierce & Jamie Russell Starring: Jason Flemyng & Blake Ritson Cinematography: Sam Renton Edited by: Jim Page Music by: David Julyan
We hope you enjoy Bricks! Neville Pierce’s film really is one of the more accomplished films we’ve featured here in the short film corner of Cut Print Film. And if you don’t believe that, just know that David Fincher agrees with us. The famed filmmaker has publicly declared Bricks, “A morbid yet classy take on a morbid classic,” and if you know anything about the notoriously meticulous Fincher, you know that’s extremely high praise. That praise likely helped Pierce secure funding for his next short, the sci-fi drama Pulsar. While we’re waiting for that film to premier, you can check in with Pierce’s prior work over at his Vimeo page.
While you’re kicking around, be sure to check out some of the thousands of other short films – animated, live action and documentary – 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.