Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Mooncats' The Shed

Cody checks out the short film The Shed, starring Eva Hamilton and Stacey Nelkin. Now available to watch on Screambox and Tubi!

Back in 2021, it was announced that actress Eva Hamilton (soon to be seen in the highly anticipated sequel to the ‘80s slasher The Mutilator) had co-founded a production company called The Mooncats, with Stacey Nelkin of Halloween III: Season of the Witch on board as a creative executive. The first Mooncats production is the 22 minute horror short The Shed, which recently secured a non-exclusive distribution deal with Cinedigm. (Update: The Shed is now available to watch on Screambox, Tubi, and Apple TV.)

Hamilton stars as a down-on-her-luck young woman named Whitney, who lost everything (including her child) in a divorce and now gets by working as a prostitute. So when she sees an ad looking for a housesitter, she takes this opportunity to get another source of income. A woman played by Nelkin hires her to stay at her place while she’s out of town for one weekend in October. But it doesn’t take a whole weekend for the situation to fall apart, because it’s pretty clear from early on that there’s something sinister going on at this woman’s house. Whitney is being filmed by somebody. A figure lurks around in the background. And soon enough, things get violent.

The Mooncats easily could have stretched this story out into feature length and made it something like The House of the Devil, but I like that they chose to turn it into a short instead. It’s quick and to the point, and basically serves as a calling card for the company, letting viewers know what they’re capable of and leaving us wanting more.

Although set in modern day, The Shed has a really cool retro vibe. It has been described as “a grounded, anchored and suspenseful tribute to the 35mm Horror Films of the late 1970s and early 1980s” and lives up to that description. It looks like something that came straight out of the good ol’ days, and has a score from White Bat Audio (complete with Halloween III-style synth stingers) to match the vintage style. In addition to the flashback-inducing music, the movie also features a reference to Michael Myers’ home address and footage from Night of the Living Dead being shown on a TV. Of course, it’s easy to drop Night of the Living Dead into something because it’s public domain, but I still find it heartwarming every time I see it show up in a movie or TV show. But it is my go-to movie for comfort viewing, so everything about Night of the Living Dead is heartwarming to me.

It’s nice to see Nelkin in the movie, since she hasn’t done a whole lot of screen acting in the last couple decades, and Hamilton does a great job of carrying most of the running time on her shoulders. We join Whitney on the trip to this house she’s supposed to stay in. We follow her around the place as she comes to realize something’s wrong here. And then we get to watch her step up and defend herself when things get really bad.

The Mooncats are off to an awesome start with The Shed and I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next.

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