One Please is one of the most beautiful looking short films I have ever seen. It has production values to rival big studio Hollywood productions - and the feel of something truly special. The period details are wonderful, really evoking the mood and innocence of the era, enhanced with a strong, bright color palette.
This six minute sinister stinger starring genre legend Michael Berryman has garnered plenty of praise over the last year and for very good reason. Want to learn more about one of the most delightfully twisted short films I've ever had the pleasure to watch?
In an idyllic piece of suburban, 1950s Americana a small family are living a blissfully peaceful, good old-fashioned existence.
Dad (Rackley) reclines in his easy chair with the paper; Mom (Burks) chops vegetables for the evening meal and beams benevolently over the couple's pride and joy, Little Girl (Holland).
Then the ominous chimes of a creepy and unsettling icecream van fill the air.
The atmosphere changes as a terrifying and mysterious outsider descends on the street.
An outsider who takes a dark and horrifying payment for his wares...
WHY IT WORKS: One Please is one of the most beautiful looking short films I have ever seen. It has production values to rival big studio Hollywood productions - and the feel of something truly special.
The period details are wonderful, really evoking the mood and innocence of the era, enhanced with a strong, bright colour palette.
This is one of the very strongest points of the film — personally I'm a sucker for subverted Americana, such as that in the Fallout games, and this is the best example of that I have ever seen onscreen.
The inherent naïveté of the period contrast so starkly with the dark developments that unfold that the horrifying moments seem all the worse for it.
There is a slow and steady ratcheting up of tension through the use of insistent, constant noises throughout. The short is actually entirely without dialogue, instead relying on fantastically nuanced performances from its small but extremely talented cast.
I thought Burks in particular was incredible — matronly and frightening on equal measure while Sailor Holland is that rare thing: a child actor who can actually act. Berryman is delightfully creepy in his brief amount of screentime, as you would expect. I’ve been a fan of this great actor since I was just a young boy and managed to sneakily watch The Hills Have Eyes late one night without my mother knowing. He stole the entire movie for me and since then I have always been delighted to spot his name in film or TV credits. He was fantastic then and has never disappointed ever since. His work in One Please is no exception. The scene in which he emerges from the darkness is the stuff of nightmares, a demonic and almost reptilian entity brought to life with heart-stopping effect.
The lack of dialogue also adds to the horror, that the horrific actions of One Please without a single spoken word makes the whole thing that little bit more grim and shocking.
The story that brings us to these darker moments is simple but unique. This is a world with its own personality, a feel unlike anything else out there. The plot leaves plenty of unanswered questions but that isn't a hindrance to enjoying a quick dip into this frightening and fascinating creation.
The performances, the visuals, the sterling use of sound, the atmosphere generated through the assured and at-times breathtaking direction from Burks and his team combined with some wonderfully gruesome shocks delivered via truly excellent effects work make One Please one of the very finest short films I have ever had the pleasure to review.
It is a visual poem and quite simply, essential viewing for all of you.