A Bloody Good Time
What a lady killer. Or a killer lady. Or a … something. Either way, Mercy Noble is the coolest female horror protagonist to walk the screen since the first Scream came out. Kirsten Wight portrays your average run of the mill millennial killer to perfection with deadpan eyes that hint at something darker behind them. Her terrific performance, mixed with an impressively engaging story for a short makes Mercy one of the best Indie horror films this year.
Right off the bat we are introduced to our protagonist Mercy the serial killer. She surfs the web like anyone her age and frequents a site where people go to confess suicidal thoughts and intentions. Mercy uses this to fulfill her lust for killing while still feeling righteous; finding the suicidal and granting them their wish in a graphic bloody manner. It’s a refreshingly original premise for horror, having a woman not be in danger but actually BE the danger. Jason and Freddy might have some stiff competition. The supporting cast is limited to mainly just her victims which are rarely given enough time to make a lasting impression until the end. Given that the film is only 20 minutes long, this is forgivable but I can’t help but wonder what it would look like her victims were a little fleshed out. There is one particular performance at the end which I won’t spoil that really shows potential in Mercy interacting with other people on a level above just an artistically wielded knife. I would’ve loved to see more of this, but I can live with what was given.
For a budget of a little over $700, the gore and prosthetics are damn believable. Obviously a film focusing on a huntress has to show the spoils of said hunt but the gore is not what sells the creepy factor. The look of sinister satisfaction combined with a lack of empathy on Mercy’s face does. However, though entertaining, the killing starts to lose its luster around the 10 minute mark. Mercy does some background commentating as she describes her next kill, and then does so again, and again, and so on until the last few minutes. The killings themselves are not unique per say, but the way that Mercy handles them after they are dead is. Mercy is called “The Artist” for a reason but I’ll let you figure out why. Her way of handling the fresh corpses along with the short run time helps the constant murders feel less monotonous, and more like they are building up to something. And build up they do. As the final few minutes roll, a very interesting scene flips most of what we have seen out of Mercy to that point. It’s thought provoking and makes me eager to see what else these particular film makers write up next. If they can make this on such a meager budget, I can’t wait to see what happens when they get more.
Mercy: The Story of the Artist is an interesting, gory tale that is as fun as it is gruesome. It goes to show that you don’t need a big budget or flash effects to make a cool story come across in awesome form. RDR gives it an 8.6 out of 10.