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Cast: Fiannah de Rue, Lucy Devine, Kate Elphinstone
A young artist feels overshadowed by a charismatic and dangerous girl she's never met. Her life changes when she decides to follow in her nemesis's footsteps.
"The Room at the Top of the Stairs" is a 15 minute Short Film from Writer/Director, Briony Kidd. As the film opens, we see a young lady walking up the driveway of an old house. She will share the home with a number or other art and music students. She does not have a name and is only described in the credits as "The Girl". After everyone introduces themselves she is given the room at the top of the stairs which was formerly occupied by, Carmen. Carmen no longer resides in the house and from what the other house members say she was trouble.
The room is small and it has all kinds of holes in the wall because Carmen liked to hang pictures and such with a hammer and nails. The girl doesn't really think much of it at first and instead tries to make friends with her house mates but her awkward and shy personality makes it hard for her to relate to them and their friends. After trying to fit in during a party she decides to go back to her room where seems to make some sort of connection with Carmen even though they have never met before. When the time comes and she does meet Carmen she seems to be a totally different girl from the one that first arrived
"The Room at the Top of the Stairs" is a unique little film. When it first starts out you get the feeling it is going to be another in a long line of haunted house movies but by the time the credits begin to roll it could not be any more different and it seems to offer more questions than answers but that is what makes the film so intriguing and thought-provoking.
One of the first things I noticed about the film was the production values, it looks and sounds terrific. The cinematography is crisp and the sound is spot on. The house used to film the Short was the the perfect setting providing just the right atmosphere.
With a film such as this that replies on its story and characters to drive it the casting is very important and I am happy to say the entire cast did a fantastic job playing their roles but the stand out performance has to go to Fiannah de Rue who is simply amazing as The Girl. Other notable performances came from Lucy Devine and Kate Elphinstone.
Instead of sitting talking about the plot and ruining the film for anyone that wants to see it I will only say that the film is a true delight that gets in your head and it stays there long after it is over. It is mysterious and engaging and it leaves you wanting more. The Short is now playing on Shudder so I highly recommend checking it out.
The strange thing I found out about the film was it was made in 2010 in Australia. Why it took so long to get a mainstream release is beyond me because this is a haunting and hypnotic film that keeps you in your seat the entire time. I am glad I got the chance to take a look at it and I am even happier it is available to everyone else to see.
Released by Screen Tasmania
**** Out Of *****