November 25, 2019

Watch Jonathan Glazer's Terrifying New Short Film

After a six-year hiatus, director Jonathan Glazer (Under the Skin) is back with a creepy and timely new short film from A24.

Jonathan Glazer is scary-good at what he does. His last feature film, 2014's Under the Skin, showed off the indie director's effortless talents for maximizing drama and well-crafted visuals out of a solid elevator pitch of an idea (Scarlet Johansson is an alien in human form, in Scotland, luring human men into her van for, well, just watch the movie).

While Skin received mixed-ish reviews, film fans (no pun intended) ate it up and have waited the better part of a decade for Glazer's next effort. Well, A24 just released it and (spoilers) it is pretty great.

Glazer's The Fall is the most unsettling seven minutes you will watch today. The Fall centers on a masked mob tying a noose around a man's neck and celebrating with a selfie before their victim struggles his way back from the titular fall. The low-fi short showcases Glazer's distinct narrative style, with an emphasis on many dialogue-free scenes as he ratchets up our anxiety and dread. The subtle score from Mica Levi also helps. 

Watch the full film right here.

Glazer's inspiration for the film is pegged to the offspring of a certain terrible (and current) U.S President (read more about it in Glazer's interview with The Guardian here). 

“I think fear is ever-present,” Glazer said.  “And that drives people to irrational behavior. A mob encourages an abdication of personal responsibility. The rise of National Socialism in Germany, for instance, was like a fever that took hold of people. We can see that happening again.”

What You Can Learn

Glazer's short is a Swiss watch of visual storytelling. The minimalist dialogue and unnerving tension helps propel the emotional stakes to a near fever-pitch. And it is all achieved mostly with visuals and eerie sound design. 

Granted, most of us do not have the financial backing of an A24 to afford the production values seen here. At the same time, what we lack in budget we can make up for in inventiveness and streamlining our stories to fit the scope and scale we can afford. Let sound design do the work for you; if you can't afford to shoot it visually, audio design is there to make up for it.

Content follows form, and Glazer's work here in that regard is inspiring. The story is also rooted in our current and unfortunate political climate. Like all great horror or sci-fi movies, the best ones are those that ground their genre narratives within timely themes -- that use the genre as a way to smuggle a story in that has more than jump scares or set pieces on its mind. (Think Get Out.)

Glazer does just that with The Fall, and we can't wait to see what he does next with a feature film. (In 2020, Glazer's feature-length Holocaust drama is due.)     

Your Comment

13 Comments

"Watch the full film right here... Not available in your country"

November 25, 2019 at 10:02PM

2
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Stu Mannion
writer/dir/dp
737

It must be funny, I must see it

November 26, 2019 at 6:38AM

0
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What a bizarre visual treat. Wow.

Although I must say, the streaming compression of 1080p really takes away from the fine texture. We really need a 4k option for this one.

November 26, 2019 at 4:50PM

2
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Dennis Nagelkirk
Write. Film. Edit. Draw. Paint.
293

Any link to watch the film outside US or UK?

November 26, 2019 at 8:33PM

1
Reply

Wow. Truly terrifying.

November 27, 2019 at 12:19PM

0
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I'm truly impressed how he communicated the depth of the hole. That's what made it terrifying for me.

November 27, 2019 at 12:35PM

0
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Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer
655

WTH was that? I clearly missed something other than 5 minutes of my weekend being taken away.

November 27, 2019 at 8:40PM

0
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Galin McMahon
editor
183

lol, his film Under the Skin played in Brooklyn last night and six people walked out halfway through. it's one of my favorites

November 27, 2019 at 10:26PM

0
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kj
167

I must agree with you.
"Subtle score" Huh ?

November 30, 2019 at 12:43PM

2
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"Pretentious" is too light a word for this film. Sure it had nice, textury visuals, editing, set extensions and sound design. But the whole idea is undercooked to say the least.

November 28, 2019 at 6:12PM

0
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Cosmin Gurau
Director
328

Way to go by spoiling the whole thing only a few paragraphs in. Guess you don't value shorts much. Honestly, this site is really starting to get on my tits.

November 29, 2019 at 11:48AM

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Simon
184

Odd what people think is good these days

November 29, 2019 at 12:08PM

0
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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1988

"Not available in your country". So that's that for the UK. Frustrating propitiatory platforms! If it's free to view, cut the crap and just put it on youtube and disable comments to avoid the hordes of mischievous idiots with their potato-headed opinions.

November 29, 2019 at 12:55PM

0
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Heath Blair
Film maker and composer
192