The most recent film from Welsh filmmaker Craig Fisher (Night Mære, You’ve Been Bad), The Midnight Jester is a four-minute short that, while complete within itself, feels like it should be the pre-title sequence to a feature film. Especially with an opening shot that circles down and around the an old church before going inside.
We first see Jenny (Julia Spencer) all prim and proper at work in the local church. A quick change later she’s out in the yard and making plans for the night. But those plans don’t include the strange figure in a jester’s costume (Thomas Bowen) He’s been waiting for her, and he wants to play.
The Midnight Jester is an exercise in atmosphere, with some nice fog and lighting effects making the old churchyard and cemetery even more creepy than these places tend to be. The Jester himself is unnerving, especially with his ventriloquist dummy to do his talking for him.
Jesters really haven’t been used much in the genre, which is odd given their appearance. The only two films of any note that I can think of are the Christoper Lee film Funny Man and the jester costumed killer from Slaughter High. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing The Midnight Jester join their ranks.
Wales isn’t known for its film industry, but with the likes of Fisher, and Peter Stray who’s film Canaries just hit North America as Alien Party Crashers, that might be about to change.