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Roller Coaster – A Short Film Review

Roller Coaster - A Short Film Review

Movie Rating:

Roller Coaster is a fast, frantic and fun short film about a girl named Emily Chadwick on her way to an audition. You can’t help but get caught up in this brilliant and quirky comedy.

What’s It All About?

A young actress named Emily Chadwick encounters “Murphy’s law” while on the way to a potentially career-making audition.

My Opinion

The short starts with a very dramatic opening that really captures your attention. We are given a point-of-view shot, sitting on a rollercoaster chugging up to the peak of its climb, the sky is dark and the music is very eerie and dramatic. We are not sure what we are in for, but it has definitely made us sit up and take notice.

What a fantastic way to open a film. Writer and director Bradley Hawkins has captured our attention in a matter of seconds without ever introducing us to a single character. This moment is typical of the rest of short. Bradley has his audience in the palm of his hand and is capable of taking them in any direction he likes.

As the roller coaster begins to fall we are suddenly cut to a girl, Emily Chadwick, waking up to the sound of her alarm clock, the rollercoaster sequence simply being a dream, or is it? After a few attempts at snoozing her alarm the film jumps into break-neck speed as we follow Emily in her seemingly impossible attempts to get to an audition.

I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that Bradley Hawkins does not give us a second to stand still, once Emily is out of bed we are going full throttle. He has managed to create this using a large amount of quick cuts and top-notch editing, all the while periodically cutting to the roller coaster ride. We are also treated some great obscure angles and quirky shots that really make this different and refreshing. There were one or two moments of shakey camera but because the action was thick and fast we were barely stationary long enough to notice it.

The constant cutting between the rollercoaster ride and the action on-screen really helped to emphasize the metaphor of the journey for Emily, who was having a pretty bad day. This reflection of events was expertly cut into the scenes that it really added something special to it.

What made this short film special was the performance from Sarah Hawkins who played Emily Chadwick. She was simply outstanding. Sarah carried this short without even muttering a single word, presenting us with an extremely likable character that we were rooting for from the start. The lack of dialogue meant Sarah had to tell the story using body language, facial expressions and the occasional scream or growl. Sarah managed this with ease telling us a fantastic tale and we lived and breathed every moment with her as she struggled to make her appointment.

In a film that lacks dialogue it is extremely important to get the musical score right and Roller Coaster nails it. We are presented with a wide variety of music which is all very appropriate to the film, nothing feels out-of-place and it only adds an more drama to the piece. Jim Casella was responsible for the original music and Sound Editor Tyler Bailey.

Roller Coaster - A Short Film Review

Notable Performances

Sarah Hawkins played Emily Chadwick. Sarah gave an outstanding performance in this short. The lack of dialogue was not an issue as Sarah was easily able to show how she was feeling making excellent use of he exaggerated facial expressions and body language. Her performance was full of energy and enthusiasm as she looked like she threw herself completely into this role and it definitely paid off with her acting looking very natural on-screen.

The Verdict

This is a brilliant story brought to life by a very talented Father – daughter team of Bradley and Sarah Hawkins. Bradley has given us a very well-rounded story and told it in just the right way, while Sarah jumps off the screen as a very likable character. I feel that this team has a very bright future ahead of them. However, it is not just down to this pair, the whole cast and crew have really managed to pull something special out of the bag giving us a very refreshing and entertaining film that was very enjoyable to watch.

Movie Rating:

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A 31 year old movie addict. Paying the price for a miss-spent youth of movies and popcorn. DVD collector and avid fan of 80's action movies. Lover of cider and pizza!