(Online Screener Copy)
Directed by Bart Mastronardi
Written by Bart Mastronardi
Stars: Debbie Rochon, Alan Rowe Kelly, Lesleh Donaldson, David Marancik and Desiree Gould.
The Tell Tale Heart is a truly wonderful short horror film, acting as writer/director, Bart Mastronardi’s interpretation of the classic Poe story. The film will eventually form part of the Tales of Poe horror anthology film which I for one cannot wait for! The film stars Debbie Rochon as a newly admitted mental institute patient, who finds herself recounting the events leading to her incarceration to the acidic Evelyn (Happy Birthday to Me’s ill-fated Lesleh Donaldson) and the squirmy, chuckling Fritz (David Marancik – Gallery of Fear). What follows is an amazingly shot, intriguing, mysterious, insight to Rochon’s time spent working as nurse for ageing former movie star Peggy Lamarr (Alan Rowe Kelly in fine form as the VERY faded star). It is here, within Lamarr’s oppressively large home, that we begin to see Rochon’s nurse succumb to, possibly madness, possibly something far more sinister, as she begins to become disturbingly obsessed with the gruesomely afflicted eye of her charge.
I would hate to give anything more away as this short should really be seen fresh, the way I was lucky enough to view it. All I will say is that things get bloody very soon and Debbie Rochon gives the performance of her career towards the climax of the film. The ending back at the mental hospital is both shocking and awe inspiring at the same time and I was 100% on the edge of my seat by this point.
All performances were brilliant though I have to say. Lesleh Donaldson played the unlikable Evelyn to the hilt, delivering a solid character you really wanted to see come unstuck, while David Marancik played the crazed ‘Fritz’ with genuine ease – I really believed I was watching an insane man, so a job well done. Alan Rowe Kelly as the formidable looking Peggy Lamarr was both a joy and a horror to watch, I would not want to be stuck in a house with this woman that’s for damn sure. It was also fantastic to see Desiree (Sleepaway Camp) Gould back on screen as the hard as nails Nurse Malliard. Just as she did back in the horror heyday, Gould plays the authoritarian figure with skill and ease, except this time, gone are the wide eyes, creepy false smiles, and cheery tone, replaced by a piercing stare, vicious snarl and a Rottweiler of a bark.
Bart Mastronardi has written and directed something very special to the horror genre, just like his previous feature length movie Vindication, he has made a horror movie that is both beautiful and horrifying. Most people would disagree that it’s appropriate to use the word beautiful in conjunction with a horror movie….those people just haven’t seen The Tell-Tale Heart yet. I am extremely excited for Bart and Alan’s joint anthology Tales of Poe which will feature this film alongside two others. Keep an eye out on the official movie Facebook page for more information and SEE this one as soon you can!