Over the past few weeks we’ve been reviewing a number of films for Cardiff Mini Film Festival. The festival took place on June 26th at Chapel 1877 and Gwdihw bar in Cardiff.

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I Should Have Run was nominated in the Fiction Category.

Let’s get this straight from the beginning. I Should Have Run, in its purest form is a horror movie. We know this because it ticks all of the boxes.

A fox wandering across an un-walked road? Check.

An unseen threat? Check.

Demonic voices? Check.

You can look at I Should Have Run in a number of ways though. If you want to look at it simply as a scary film, you’ll really enjoy it. If you look deeper though, you’ll see some strong underlying themes that hint at the same danger, just in a much more real sense.

The fact that the film is shot in black and white is no coincidence. Not only does it bring the horror to life but it’s another strong layer supplied by a movie that wants us not only to enjoy it for what it is, but to experience what others experience.

Throughout, the protagonist keeps telling herself that she should have run, or should have screamed. The fact that she couldn’t bring herself to and that she was taken by this unseen, demonic presence hints at the depression that millions suffer with on a daily basis. The feeling that they’re unable to do anything about the threat they see looming. It’s like a kind of paralysis if that’s the way you want to look at it.

Now, during our time of reviewing these fantastic shorts, I’ve said on numerous occasions that the things each director has achieved, in such a short film, have been astounding. I Should Have Run is one of the best examples I’ve seen at delivering it’s message in little over 3 minutes long.

Not only did it land that message, it also delivered tension and dread that kept me hooked for the full 3 minutes. It’s a film that got everything right from the way it was shot to how the story was told. Indeed, the fact they’ve moved away from simple, spoken dialogue and used a poem is another masterstroke of a brilliantly produced movie.

Created by Gabriela Staniszewska