After the unexpected death of her brother, Beth Reeves seeks solace in her family’sdeceptively calming New England cottage.

Genre: Drama

Length: 20:20

Free To View

4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Usher Morgan, Katie Vincent

Director/s : Usher Morgan, Katie Vincent

Writer/s : Katie Vincent, 

Actor/s : Katie Vincent, Jacob A Ware


Death's a beach

After a funeral, Beth decides to have some quiet time at the family’s seaside cottage. There’s a nighttime intruder, and we don’t know who this guy is, but then, we didn’t know who died either. It’s her brother Billy, in both cases.

So how is Beth going to deal with the unrepentant rebellious spirit that was her brother and best friend, returning as, er, a spirit? He comes, he goes, disappearing when their mum checks in, and Beth loses him all over again.

Katie Vincent is excellent as Beth, looking in turn sad, disbelieving, joyful, angry and genuinely haunted. Jacob Ware conveys Billy’s anarchic charisma above and beyond what his lines give him, and you can believe Beth would want more time with this big bro.

Technically, the overambitious focus-pulling jars a bit, though the director would probably explain the focus drops as contributing to the mood, which is possibly valid. But there are other ways of using a camera than extreme close-ups, and more invention here wouldn’t have gone amiss. There’s some clever editing though, when two Billies appear at night on the beach.,

Katie Vincent wrote as well as acted. Her screenplay resists the urge to overexplain, and the dialogue wordcount is satisfyingly low. We’re taken through all the stages of grieving, every one of them a bitch. Billy’s reappearance is her denial that he ever died; she’s angry at her mum in a painful, hard-to-watch scene with real bite; there’s deal-making when Billy says they can stay there together forever; depression symbolised by a sudden surreal transition from daytime to night; then acceptance; and rebirth. And just in case it was getting too po-faced, she gives us a satisfying little twist at the end to go home with. Excellent work!

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