Pepper is a little short film with “big movie energy”. Kate Felix directs a mighty strong seven minutes. There is enough story strength present in 7 minutes that could very easily be turned into a feature-length film and be just as enjoyable. There are so many details that are left to the imagination due to the time constraint. But if given the chance, Pepper could add some nice spice to the horror genre’s cinematic buffet.
The color palette choice in the film was excellent. The muted and almost monochromatic color choice elicited feelings of bleakness, heaviness, and isolation. These feelings go perfectly with the film’s themes from start to finish. Special recognition to Alex Tong and his color choices which enhanced this film greatly.
The film is also riddled with creepy, drawn-out, tonal sounds that create tension and anxiety while throwing the viewer off the trail of the unexpected turns ahead. Well done to Aaron Mirkin for an excellent job on the sound design. The story itself is quite enjoyable. Who doesn’t love a creepy farm in the middle of what looks like nowhere and the only guy around is the only guy in the universe you want to avoid? That’s always a recipe for success. With a tried and true method such as that sometimes stories can feel “retold” or “overused”, that is not the case with Pepper. The idea is original and quite frankly I wish I had thought of it.
Despite all its successes, PEPPER is not without one flaw. The biggest issue with this film is the ending. Rather than feature a pivotal point in the story, that high point is left to the imagination via a cut and blackout before continuing on as if a huge part of the story wasn’t just glossed over.
Minor flaw aside, Pepper is an incredibly enjoyable and watchable short. Strong casting choices, excellent sound editing, and phenomenal color choices are just a few of the reasons why Pepper should be a part of your cinematic diet. Just like pepper the spice, it packs a punch…and in only 7 minutes. Imagine what the cast and crew could do with a full 90 minutes.
7 out of 10 stars