Review: Walt (2011)

Walt

Directed by Randal Plunkett

Written by Oliver Plunkett and Randal Plunkett

Run Time: 23:40

Starring:

Cian Lavelle-Walsh as James

John E. Regan as Walt

Sorcha Lavelle Walsh as Ellie

Shane Kennedy as Boy

Hannah Leanne Crowley as Girl

Synopsis: James suffers from neglect at home, until he meets Walt. Walt encourages him to learn how to fish, but he is not all that he seems.

One of the wonderful perks of maintaining a horror review blog and podcast is that periodically independent directors will reach out and send their films along to be reviewed, giving them a chance to gain exposure for their projects and in my case, allowing me the chance to get a sampling of some of the new talents emerging in the horror community.

Walt tells the story of a boy named James who meets an old man named Walt one afternoon after school, and of the heartwarming friendship the two cultivate.

Of course there’s more to the story than that or I wouldn’t be reviewing it here.  While I can’t say much more about the plot than what is in the synopsis, what I can say is that Walt is a genuinely enjoyable, beautifully shot and excellently scored little film.  Short films when done correctly tell moment in time stories, giving us just enough information about the characters and the situation to move the story along and keep our attention.

While the acting in Walt is uneven, a common issue when dealing with younger actors, the writing more than makes up for this minor flaw.  While Cian Lavelle Walsh’s James may deliver some of his dialogue with all the enthusiasm of a boy reading a book report, it’s undeniable that he and John Regan as Walt have chemistry and for the first half of the film I genuinely believed in the budding friendship between the two.  Things take a turn for the unexpected about half way through the film, and when the reveal comes, it wasn’t at all what I was expecting.

The cinematography is fantastic throughout the film, and while there are really only two locations that we spend any time in, the outdoor scenes that make up the bulk of the film are well lit and beautiful.  The score is a simple piano and acoustic guitar that really sells the soft hearted nature of the story, then changes as the plot does and works to enhance the film.

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