Paul’s Bad Day (2017)

A man wakes up from a black out and everyone around him is reacting rather peculiarly to his waking up.

Written and directed by Phil Bucci, Paul’s Bad Day is an uber short with a good impact and a fun twist on its subject. As a horror sub-genre that is quite overdone these day (and it will not be revealed here to keep some surprise), this new take on it is a breath of fresh air. The very short runtime forces it to be concise and straight to the point, something that is highly appreciated and shows that the filmmaker knows how to use the less-is-more approach to horror.

As it should be with a micro short, the cast of Paul’s Bad Day is small. The titular character of Paul is played by actor Paul Valtierra, this part is mostly a point-of-view and reactions to what is going on, but what is done with it is effective. Playing Paul’s panicked friends are Jordan Wall, Ashandra McConnell, and Glen Warren, all of whom show appropriate emotions and reactions to what is going on in front of them for each of their characters. They give the type of performances that feel natural and give the film a realism that works great for the story.

A big part of this short’s effect is the cinematography and editing by writer/director Phil Bucci with the sound editing by Eri Escamez as they create Paul’s point of view and are a big part of the film’s atmosphere and effect on the viewer. The film’s point-of-view style works as part of its super short and this style has a lot of impact.

Paul’s Bad Day is a fun exercise in brevity that’s also a fresh new take on its sub-genre, something that is not easy to do in this oversaturated market. The horror genre is done often and to various degrees of quality, and this particular sub-genre is very popular with indie filmmakers and short film artists. Paul’s Bad Day is a micro short that knows how to establish atmosphere and create a lasting impact with just a few minutes, strong imagery, and good performances.