Review – Winged and Imprint Dark

  • 7

Centering around a carer, Vera (Millie Felix), and her sick mistress, (Phoebe Averdieck), Winged and Imprint Dark depicts a disturbing blurring of the lines between reality and delusion. This short film relentlessly portrays an anxious viewing of a co-dependent relationship, and one that is bound to come to a head.

The most striking aspect of the film is its cinematography and sound design. The washed out filter perfectly captures feelings of both sickness and fatigue which clearly affects both characters in different ways. The shocking flashes of red is, therefore, particularly alarming . . . given the solemn tone of the film, and is effectively used to signify Vera’s descent. The tracking shots and facial close-ups are also lovely to watch, with everything feeling intentional and precise. Directors, Henry Fish and Sebastiano O’Grady, not only express great skill but also a clear passion for film, which is delightful to see.

The soundtrack beautifully fits the film’s aesthetic both visual and internal – it’s as if the viewers are encompassed in Vera’s dissatisfaction and disassociation. The mistress’s bird – an important visual code and haunting presence in this otherwise empty home – is reminiscent of a Hitchcockesque depiction of mental illness, and so it’s also haunting to hear the bird’s incessant squawks while being reminded of all the previous rooms Vera had to cater to her Mistress in. While clear differences in accent and costume were utilised between the two actresses, these perhaps could have been portrayed with a gentler hand – although this criticism stems from the clear skill and potential that is displayed.

Despite this, these differences are functional tools for reinforcing the vibe of classical cinema, as well as the use of old music. The motifs of entrapment are particularly strong, and Fish and O’Grady are great at balancing the disturbing with dark comedy. Again, at times the worry of characters turning slightly caricatured was present, but it was by this balancing act that this was quelled.

Overall, Winged and Imprint Dark is a strong short film, which beautifully incorporates well-known themes in a way that still comes across as intriguing and just pleasing to watch. This is a certain recommendation for those looking for a new dark, ironic horror that invites you in by aesthetics and skillful camerawork.


Winged and Imprint Dark is now available on YouTube and Vimeo!


About Author

2nd year English and Film minor student and Film Sub-Editor 2020/21. Loves the cinema, hates the people.

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