Review: Neon

When a man who is forbidden by a higher power from pursuing the love of his life, to spare her from a loveless existence he decides to take his own life. Written and directed by Mark J. Blackman, starring: Joe Absolom, Kerry Bennett, Bill Hutchens, Fraser James, James Kermack and Ceejay Sargent.

The little touch of adding neon to the opening credits foreshadows the quality of this short film, it may go unnoticed by some but that attention to detail is a great place to start. Things continue upwards from there, introducing our first character, Mary (Kerry Bennett) and straight away there’s another reason to like the film because our female lead and love interest is not looking in a mirror, painting her nails, reading a magazine or any of the innocuous and stereotypical activities that are the choice of much, much too many film-makers; she is in fact boxing, because women can pack a punch too. It’s also a great opening scene, simultaneously giving us the emotional strength and awakening your curiosity; there are many important factors in creating a film but hooking your audience within the first few moments is quite a critical one and Neon definitely succeeds with that. Curiosity only to be increased as Absolom’s Elias comes into view with his stark and severe look, although he’s mostly in view when silent, the stillness of his performance is strong and effective.

The next thing you have to talk about because it’s instantly noticeable, is the visual quality of Neon; it’s clear that the expense which went into capturing a striking, sharp and rich image has paid off immensely. A factor which is only improved by the superb editing, choices which enrich a story that may be less than 15 minutes long but has more packed into it than some full-length features have to offer; each shot and cut says almost as much as what’s physically happening within them. As the story progresses and we get to find out more about the mysterious Elias, the fantasy elements blend into the drama and create something that feels modern almost to the point of futuristic and you slowly get to see what the special effects team has in store. Effects which are done extremely well, there’s nothing that comes across as over the top or excessive, they fit almost seamlessly into each scene and echo that high quality we’ve already seen.

Neon is bursting at the seams with quality, coming from every aspect from writing to directing, acting, editing, special effects and more. It’s a superb short film with a captivating story that’s dark yet romantic and imaginative yet real which will ensnare you from its first few moments.

Verdict: ✯✯✯✯½ | 9/10


  1. Great review of this great short. I was lucky enough to see it recently and found it to be superbly well made and thoroughly enjoyable and interesting, really well acted and directed.


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