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Saturday, 21 November 2015

The Railway Carriage (2015)

A short film from Adgar Productions

Directed by Ross Adgar

Starring Dean Sills as John.

I was going to have a weekend away from blogging this weekend, after all, it's been a long weary week in my day job (you know, the one I actually get money for.....this blogging lark doesn't exactly pay the bills you know) and I intended to spend my time binging on the new Jessica Jones series on Netflix (which actually reads much creepier than I intended). It was all going enjoyably well as I found myself halfway through episode 4, that was until I received a message from a Facebook buddy of mine, Dean Sills. He was wondering if I'd be interested in having a look at his latest acting venture, a 10 minute horror short called The Railway Carriage. 

Now, I've known Dean for a little while now and have been observing his progressing acting career avidly - though my lawyers would deny that I'm only doing that in case his career goes stratospheric and so I can hang on to his coat tails and bathe in his reflective  No, not all your honour. The thing is that not only is Dean a solid stand up guy, he also resides in a part of the world that I once spent some considerable time in myself - Sheffield, England. I'll be honest, not all the memories of the place are positive and there's nothing on Earth that would lead me to ever live there again - well except for the scenario where Helena Bonham-Carter buys a property in the area for the sole intention of keeping me there as her pleasure slave........blimey, is it getting warm in here or what?

Anyhoo, the area still has a few reasons to warm my cold and withered heart. Besides which, after doing my usual intense period of blog article research (5 mins max) I saw that some of the filming locations were places I myself had frequented in the dim and distant past, including Elsecar Heritage Railway in South Yorkshire and Elston Chapel in Nottinghamshire. More importantly, the premise of The Railway Carriage had me more than a little Intrigued.........

"The Railway Carriage is a psychological horror short film in which the lead character (John) is trapped in a dream like world where there is no easy escape. Throughout he is beset with flashbacks, vague memories that explain why he is trapped in a train carriage again and again. Is someone testing him? Has he done something so bad his mind has trapped itself in a strange repeating labyrinth? Through the memories and objects he finds in the carriage, John tries to find a way out of the nightmare world he has brought on himself!"

This 10 minute slice of psychological chills will not be for everyone, particularly those annoying individuals who like their narrative neatly signposted and tied up in a nice little red ribbon, with clear step by step plot instructions and an exploratory thesis on what the end of the film means just in case there is the merest hint of ambiguity. Oh and Lord help them if the ending doesn't have a solid resolution.......if I hear once more in my life "Well that's a strange place to finish" I just may have to commit serious violence. The fact is that this film is a fascinating example of tightly woven emotional and suspenseful complexity which will certainly leave the viewer with more questions than answers at the beginning, middle and end of the story. I like that, I like that a lot.

This is no mean achievement considering the very simple premise of the film; Man wakes up in a strange place; man is plagued by chilling images and sounds; man is confused and tormented when he can't escape...... Hey, we've all been there........

The Railway Carriage is a satisfyingly chilling slice of film making, achieved in no small measure from debutant director, Ross Adgar's confident and innovative direction. It cannot be easy to convey feelings of claustrophobic chills with just a 10 minute running time, but with a time honoured horror- making skill of providing some very clever and effective sound effects the viewers feelings of unease are suitably manipulated.

Full credit too must be given to actor, Dean Sills, who almost single-handed has to convey the emotional turmoil on show and for my money does it very well. I'm not just saying that because I know him, for once in my life I'm telling the absolute truth.

The Railway Carriage made its international film premiere at Nightpiece film festival at The Edinburgh Fringe on Saturday 29th August 2015. The festival had 2,101 submissions from 99 countries across the world and only 50 independent films were selected from 23 countries including The Railway Carriage. If you have the opportunity to see this very effective and enjoyable piece of psychological horror, make the most of it!

You can find out more about this film at the following links;

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