A mysterious woman finds a red balloon tied up to a curious little box on an eery derelict street

This is the type of short film that can truly inspire many others. ‘The Killing Joke’ is a wonderful mix between aesthetics, CGI, acting, story and music. The first thing that catches the eye is the aesthetics, with a rusty golden glow throughout the entire short film, giving an intended 70’s look and homage to the era’s suspense/horror films. The feel is made more evident once the main actress (Clarisa Staracci) enters the screen with her short flashy red dress borrowed directly from the era. Along with the vintage cars used during the short, they have done an immaculate job giving the film a very defined look.

Clarisa plays a formidable role as the mysterious girl and is backed by a solid chilling performance by Gustavo Marzo as the creepy clown – If you don’t like clowns you certainly won’t like this one. But the big star of this short is Sebastian Lopez as the writer, director and the post compositor. Without a big storyline he keeps the suspense thrilling from the opening of the mysterious box ’til the very end. Although there is a lack of reasoning behind the story, the nail-biting suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat and the open ending leaves room for personal interpretation.

Right from the start the soundtrack composed by Colin Devlin places you in a dreamy, eery state of emptiness and solitude, which then picks up to an exhilarating beat to match great tension as the images. It is obvious that Sebastian Lopez and Colin Devlin collaborated on this project from the very beginning, bringing a strong parallelism between imagery and sound from beginning to end.

A not so evident CGI is mostly noticeable after watching the ‘Making Of The Killing Joke’. This is a good thing of course, at first watch it all seems integral to a fantastic location, but take the time to watch the making of to see the drastic impact the CGI adds to the scenery! The great before and after scenes give you an idea of how much work has been put into this film, which makes it all the more special!

In the end ‘The Killing Joke’ might not have a killing storyline, but it has all the elements short film needs to keep you entertained until the very last scene (which is breathtaking by the way). A must watch!