Meeting your significant other’s family is a stressful and scary time. Will they like me? Will they respect me? Will they judge me? Am I not good enough for them? I have had a few boyfriends in my time, and every time I’ve had to meet the family, these questions cross my mind. Nine out of ten times, it was a pleasant experience for me. Sure sometimes they got on my nerves, I’m sure I got on theirs – but for the most part, I have always had a fun time meeting the boyfriend’s family. Our poor heroine in The Burden did not. And I do NOT blame her.

The Burden is the story of Pascal (Kay Greidanus), who brings his girlfriend Ciska (Hanna Van Vliet) to his family home to commemorate his late Grandfather. After arriving, Pascal tells Ciska a spooky story about his childhood neighbor and friend, Esther (Ilke Paddenburg). Soon she discovers that sinister secrets hide in the darkness, and perhaps scary stories are more than just stories.

I can not express enough how much I enjoyed The Burden. The story, the acting, the camera work, the lighting work, the subtle music, the special FX, the make up.. Everything. This film is an excellent example of how a simple scary story can be elevated to the next level when all the right pieces come together. Nothing was over the top, but also not too subtle. Everything was just as horrifying as it should be. It was a slow build to a fantastic payoff. The only questions that are missing an answer are why this happened and how this happened. And honestly, that’s okay. Not all questions need to be answered. If done right, the mystery of it is what can keep you wanting more. I would adore a feature-length of this story: the same actors, same crew. Change nothing. Just give us more!

I give The Burden 9 out of 10 creaky stairs for fantastic production value, excellent camera work, and leaving me hungry for more. I’ll watch any film this team has to make.

9 out of 10 creaky stairs.

The Burden


Runtime:16 mins 42 secs
Directed By:
Nico van den Brink
Written By:
Nico van den Brink

About the Author: Hannah Kaplan

I like horror films, haunts, immersive theater, my cat, and butter.
By Published On: January 27, 2020Categories: FIlm Festivals, Movies, Panic Fest, Short FilmsComments Off on The Burden reminds us to ask ALL questions before meeting the family!