Nightlight (2017) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

A young boy keeps having to turn on his nightlight to read as something is turning it off every. single. time.

Director Kyle Daly takes this simple premise and makes it both a little scary and funny at the same time. This short works well by repetition and by showing the viewer just enough until it’s time to show much more and make the film truly memorable. His sense of timing and how the story is developed are what make the film truly work. It’s short short and it’s absolutely worth seeing if possible as it doesn’t take itself seriously, yet works like a charm.

The young lead of Steven is played by Tony Harutyunnyan as an inquisitive, not easily scared, yet a little scared, young boy who is undeterred in his quest to read his comic. His acting is curious, playful, a little scared, and interesting to watch. Playing a part that will not be described for the sake of the film and to avoid spoilers, Ryan Andrew Campbell plays his part really well, with humor and a lightness to it that works really well in the film’s context.

The film has some practical special effects which are done with talent and a knowledge for the craft that is clear. These add a special something to film and to the ending of it. The special effects being practical gives the film an old school vibe that is perfect for the story and setting. This is something that is highly enjoyable in this overall fun short.

Nightlight is a light horror short that works on many levels with a twist at the end that is heartwarming and sweet without being annoying or out of place. Tony Harutyunnyan’s performance is adorable and talented, giving the viewer a lead character they can connect with and care for. Nightlight is a short that needs to be seen and enjoyed.