Directed by Alexandra Pechman and co-written by Pechman and Kate Adams, Thumb uses its originality to captivate and reel you in, only to be let down by the overall execution of the script and the sparse number of scares. This short begs us to question ownership using one of the horror genre’s most notable metaphors – the overbearing mother.
Thumb follows a woman tasked with sorting through her late mother’s estate when an unexpected visitor pays her a visit, inquiring about an infamous performance piece. What unfolds over the ten minute run time is rather grim, as the woman must confront not only her dead mother’s sinister taste for performance art, but her (not so) secret love affair.
This short would potentially favour better if it leaned further into its unearthly atmosphere. The rigid acting and lack of chemistry between the two leads disrupt the general flow of the uncomfortable and strange environment, distracting from the clear showcase of potential Thumb has to offer. The lush blue sky and colour of daytime light fill every shot with an almost ethereal hue, providing a practically relaxed ambience laced with uneasy glimpses of the dead mother, lingering in the background. This is by far the most impressive aspect of the short – one which deserved far more attention and development.
The finale is sadistic in its style although hollow in its pay off, as the meaning behind the title ‘Thumb’ is loosely revealed. The end comes together in convoluted fashion, however the genuine potential displayed throughout leaves a subtle lasting impression. Pechman and Adams are certainly ones to watch for more twisted tales.
by Kelsie Dickinson