Short Film Showcase: Crestfallen

Dir. Jeremiah Kipp

Director Jeremiah Kipp follows up his stark and unsettling brood-fest Contact – a Cronenbergian meditation on addiction and paranoia – with a similarly provocative short focusing on a young woman’s suicide bid and the myriad instances and thoughts that have led to it.

Much like the scene in The Rules of Attraction in which a young woman slips into death’s embrace by slitting her wrists in a warm bath, Crestfallen captures the painfully wrought moment in an abstract, lyrically beautiful way that, while poetic, doesn’t lessen the impact. An ethereal atmosphere is conjured with shards of sunlight streaming through a window into the darkened world of the woman (Deneen Melody). As the life bleeds out of her and swirls into the bathwater, we are privy to her equally swirling thoughts.

Unfolding as a series of disarming and striking images, Crestfallen is tentative in its observation of shattered dreams and submerges us deep within her trauma. While not strictly a ‘horror’ short, Kipp (who also worked as an assistant director on I Sell The Dead) still conveys the utter horror of a young woman’s life collapsing around her and the drastic measures she takes when she feels she has nothing left to live for. Through flashbacks we witness her discovery of her lover’s infidelity, catch glimpses of her childhood and see a little girl who could be her younger self or her daughter; the first in a series of visual shards that injects hope into proceedings.

Kipp deftly weaves the fragmented images together to form a narrative, and while he guides us through a devastatingly dark place, he at least shows us the glimmer of light ahead before leaving us, ensuring we end on a note enrobed with hope. Despite its brevity, Crestfallen packs a weighty punch and highlights Kipp as a filmmaker who wields the precision to cut straight to the heart of his subject matter in visually astounding ways that enhance the resonance of his work.


Aylmer said…
I loved Contact and mused about it myself over at the EYE some time ago. Very affecting. I'm looking forward to Kipp's upcoming feature starring Tom Savini, it must be in post by now. Have you got a link to see this one James?
James Gracey said…
Hey Aylmer, I've sent Jeremiah an email to find out of there's anywhere online to check out Crestfallen. I watched it on Vimeo but it was password protected and I was asked not to share it. Will let you know when Mr Kipp gets back to me!

Hope you're well. :)
Deneen Melody said…
Wow, such a lovely review! Thank you so much for taking a look at the film, it means a lot to all of us involved! Thank you!
Aylmer said…
Thanks James, much appreciated!
James Gracey said…
My pleasure, Deneen - you guys did a wonderful job. Thank you for stopping by. :)

Aylmer, the film will be doing the festival circuit shortly and hasn't got a 'release' date as yet; though Jeremiah said if you'd like to contact him on Facebook he can arrange for you to check it out online. Huzzah!

According to the Crestfallen page on Facebook, Harry Manfredini is composing an alternative score for the film. When I watched it, it had a beautiful, Elfman-esque choral score.

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