Directed by Rod Gudino
Each day the Toronto After Dark Film Festival starts with a short. In fact there are 26 short films the entire festival, 10 international and 16 advocating Canadian talent. Opening night’s gala began with The Facts In The Case Of Mister Hollow, the newest short by Rue Morgue founder Rodrigo Gudino. Most directors hope and pray that their short will garner the attention of big studio Hollywood and project them into the limelight but in the meantime a festival tour will be your only means of seeing this fantastic short.
What starts off as seemingly not-animated at all, we see the desk of one Johnny Hollow (also the band who composed the music for the short), a detective, we assume, with a picture on his desk that states “look closely.” What appears to be a normal photograph of a couple, their newborn and two other men standing in a forest next to their car turns into a nightmare hellion-party that defies your senses. Panning left, right, in-between and around trees, the film paints a picture that is both intriguing and maniacally clever. Each time the camera would pan out, we notice that the picture has advanced a frame or two but only with certain actors. One can only imagine that a human sacrifice may be at hand as we spot a church in the background, the lighting of a bonfire and the tattoos of the cultish figures.
Clocking in at almost 6 minutes, this is Gudino’s shortest and possibly best film next to The Demonology of Desire and The Eyes of Edward James. Shot on HD (which works beautifully for this) The Facts In The Case Of Mister Hollow truly shows that the devil is in the details.