Double Tap is an ingenious horror short in the modern-day technological horror subgenre. Initially the title made me think of Columbus’ rule in Zombieland (2009), but upon viewing the film the meaning became crystal clear.
The concept is clever: a teenager named Chilli (Olive Gray) scrolls through her never-ending Instagram feed, double-tapping nearly every post to like them. But when she passes on a chain letter-like post, things go from bad to worst.
The post reads: “The Dickless Troll is hungry . . . Like this post or he’ll EAT YOUR BLOOD!” The text is accompanied by a photo of a grotesque figure. Later that night, Chilli awakens to find the troll at her bedside sucking blood from her finger. The remainder of the film is a suspense-filled chase sequence as she tries to escape from the monster.
While Double Tap cashes in on the thrills, it also adeptly balances the horror with humor. Early in the film, we see Chilli lie on her back in bed. In a relatable moment, she accidentally drops her phone on her face. In the next shot, we see her with a bag of frozen vegetables over her eye to reduce any bruising.
The climactic sequence also incorporates humor. When the Dickless Troll rears itself up to full height, we see an Instagram “Sensitive Content” filter over its genital region. The image is unexpected and quite hilarious. While the Dickless Troll oozes menace, his attack exhibits elements of slapstick.
While the race against time to find the original post and double tap it in the hopes of making the troll vanish is a common trope to horror, the suspense leading up to it makes it feel welcome. In addition, the origin of the Dickless Troll is shrouded in mystery, recalling similar cinematic urban legends like Candyman. However, a deeper delve into its backstory would have been welcome. Who knows, maybe there will be a sequel?
These qualms are petty at most, given what writer-director Eros Vlahos achieves in less than three minutes. So take the time from your social media binge to enjoy this enjoyable horror short.
Rating: 9 out of 10 stars
You can view the short film Double Tap thanks to SXSW and Mailchimp
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