Bobby (Henry Lynch, Dexter: New Blood, To Have a Body) comes running back to his family’s house, terrified by the sight of his father’s bloody corpse. But as he enters, his father (John Adams, The Hatred, Halfway to Zen) is sitting at the table with Bobby’s mother (Toby Poser, The Deeper You Dig, From Zero to I Love You) and sister (Zelda Adams, Hellbender, Rumblestrips).
Coming in at eighteen fast-paced minutes, Miltown is the new short from writer/directors Chris Beyrooty (Margaux, The Red Book Ritual) and Connor Martin who previously teamed up to make Shelter in Place. Here they’ve taken a familiar concept and cranked up the paranoia as Bobby has to deal with a houseful of people who may or may not be who they appear to be. Or may not even be human for that matter,
Almost all of Miltown is set in the family’s dark house which lets Beyrooty and Martin constantly keep the viewer off guard as you’re never sure what’s in the room with you, or waiting just outside the door. Cinematographer Gary Long (Current’s Secrets, I Love You, I’m Sorry) and editor Benjamin Shearn (Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror, Give Me Pity!) accentuate that by bringing out as much of the house’s atmosphere as possible.
Miltown is the first time I’ve seen the Adams Family in someone else’s film, and they do a good job as Bobby’s family. Especially John as he wages a battle of words and wits over the dinner table, with violence threatening to erupt at any moment. For his part, Henry Lynch does an excellent job of projecting fear and confusion as the film unfolds.
The viewer can certainly identify with the confusion because we’re never told just what is going on. Is it aliens? Demons? Something else again? We can make a few guesses, but nothing is certain. While the lack of information would bother me in a feature, Miltown’s short running time and the fast pace keep it from becoming an issue. The only explanation we get from The Being (Clay Flaten, Dumpcake Comedy, The Magic Lasso) “I was bored” is chilling without telling us anything.
Miltown has been playing festivals including The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, HorrorHaus and FilmQuest. Keep an eye on the shorts at your local festivals to see if it’s playing, it’s worth seeing if you get the chance. And if you want more films like this, you can see what FilmTagger suggests.