There is a fine art to horror audio mixing and the creation of unsettling music that is not to be taken lightly in the making of genre films. Even the mass audiences have caught on to the crutch that is jumpscares and the blasting of high tempo music which have been the trend in many blockbuster movies. Horror that is slow-paced and an ever-building tension is what strikes to the heart of even the hardened fan. David Lynch and Alan Splet spent 63 days creating the soundtrack alone for Eraserhead and it is as surreal, haunting, and sickening as anything in the film. Moonlance, on the other hand, feels like a weekend project that was put together with minimal care and broad strokes.
A couple, while trying to rekindle a dwindling relationship, decide to go camping. After an evening of getting drunk in their tent, Kurt decides he needs to go relieve himself amongst the trees. Being awoken from her sleep later that night, Devin thinks Kurt is playing a prank shaking the tent until a voice reassures her that it is not Kurt. While it at first tries to coerce Devin to leave the tent, even pretending to be Kurt, it soon becomes impatient and far more aggressive.
Pacing and presence are everything in the creation of a short film considering there is a very limited time to tell your story. Moonlance starts with a narration establishing the characters’ attempt to “be closer together” that becomes completely irrelevant to the story beyond the closing narration when it could just begin with the fairly charismatic characters talking. From there the setup of an unforeseen threat is tense enough but the framing of the shots feels boring, and there is no build-up to the danger that the voice poses, it’s just immediately a threat. There is potential here for sure but with its blaring “spooky” music, that would be insufferable in a theater, and the bland story the short ends feeling unoriginal and tedious.
Watch for yourself below if you’re curious!
3 out of 10