Lion (2017) – short movie review

 

From writer and director Davide Melini, assistant director in Dario Argento’s Mother of Tears: The Third Mother, Penny Dreadful and Into the Badlands, comes one of the most successful and critically acclaimed horror shorts of all-time: Lion (click here for the trailer).

Here we have an almost-12-minute-long short film that, over the course of two years of distribution, has won 260 awards at various festivals. Yes, you read that right: two hundred and sixty!

The story of Lion revolves around the delicate and uncomfortable theme of child abuse, which the movie handles extremely well: it doesn’t shy away from it, but it never tackles is in an exploitative way.

Continue reading and check my final grade below… 


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My review is also available on IMDb – Lion (2017)

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Going in a movie that received such a huge number of awards and praises, I had quite high expectations. Lion didn’t let me down one bit: this is truly one of the best shorts I’ve had the pleasure to watch, although you should know I’m not too well-versed in short movies.

After a highly stylised and meticulously well executed opening sequence, Lion displays a story that flows naturally with little dialogue. The visuals, here, take over, making for an absolutely gorgeous viewing experience. The choice of reducing the dialogue to a bare minimum is spot on, since a few line deliveries sound a bit forced and overacted – which is my only complaint with this picture.

Through immaculate camera-work and spotless cinematography, Lion doesn’t refuse to get quite intense and graphic, without delving into tasteless thirst for blood. The original way the story unfolds truly keeps you hooked from beginning to end, to the point where I hope this short will be turned into a feature-length film one day.

Finally, I can’t deny a huge shout-out to the composer and the visual department. As for the music, I loved the Argento-esque (or better Goblin-esque) theme song, which is both strangely addictive and eerie simultaneously. The CGI utilised in Lion is truly outstanding, far better than I could anticipate in a short film.

Overall, Lion is a great, impactful and meaningful short film that feels dense without overstaying its welcome. I truly hope this director gets to make a feature-length horror movie with similar themes and the same amount of creativity involved. In the meantime, soon enough Davide Melini’s new short horror film (Deep Shock, a giallo that pays homage to both Mario Bava and Dario Argento) will be release. Look out for that!

Lion                            9/10

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