Your Date is Here
After dusting off an old Mystery-Date style board game, a mother and daughter realize the game holds more evil than amusement.
Mother and daughter (Rebecca Flinn and Dani Tiernan; respectively) are enjoying a nice quiet evening at home. Pizza is on the way, and the chosen activities include a movie (later) and right now, an old board game belonging to the little girl’s grandmother. It’s called “Your Date Is Here” and it’s all about making your way around the game-board and through card clues and “phone calls” from the potential date (avoid the Dweeb!), you’ll come to learn with whom you’ll be spending the evening. But there’s something off about this game, and the “phone calls” turn sinister.
As the mother, Rebecca Flinn perfectly delivers an authentic mom. There’s nary a moment when you’ll doubt her interactions with her on-screen daughter, or her growing concern over the weirdness of the game they play. And there’s that all-too-rare acting moment which is so hard to master and make an audience believe – when a character talks to themselves. But Flinn sells it and you’ll truly appreciate her time on-screen in this six-minute short.
The same cannot be said for young Dani Tiernan who’s the spitting image of a young Melissa Gilbert as Little House on the Prairie’s Laura Ingalls. It’s not to say that she’s terrible in the film – she does what she needs to do – but unlike her on-screen mother, she just isn’t genuine or believable.
The design of the board game itself is inspired. Frankly, I’d love to have the prop for my own personal collection (nerd!) And the details (particularly the brilliant aging of the game-board) are impressive.
There’s a nicely done build-up of tension as the clue cards and phone calls get darker. And the final moment – just after the pizza is delivered – is a prime example of amazing filmmaker manipulation. As horror audiences, we’ve been conditioned to see something coming and then when it doesn’t – there’s that exhaled breath of relief. But not for long. I squealed and jumped at the film’s awesome tag.
And then there’s the age-old question for filmmakers when they make and release a short: “Are you working on a feature version of the piece?” But I don’t think this particular film needs any more than what we’ve already seen. Sure, there’s potential for more (a la the Ouija films), but as is, it’s so wonderfully conceived and executed. And again, with such a perfect length and pace – it begs use of the old phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The pieces contained in festival short film blocks are notoriously hit and miss. But if you see Your Date Is Here on the schedule – you can already consider that one a hit.
Your Date Is Here is currently doing quite well on the festival circuit (including showings at NOLA Horror Film Festival and Horrible Imaginings), so no wider release information (online or otherwise) is yet available. But check out their Facebook page HERE for info on potential festival screenings in your area.