Written and directed by Jeremy Herbert, Nightmare Festival nominee The Childish Thing is a creative little short that tells the story of Jack (Morgan Mcleod), who is going to leave the only house he is ever known. To his dismay however when he is cleaning out the basement, he finds out that some things do not want to be thrown away or forgotten.
Currently on the festival circuit, for a short film, it covers a lot of ground in terms of story and character development. Jack, as a character, is someone most can identify with on an emotional level. Leaving the place that you have come to know for a better part of your life is always a trying experience. Lane (Jenson Strock) and Hal (Deven Fenn) cleverly do a great job of showing this within their dialogue with each other, without having to show us a lot of Jack’s history of being in the house. Not to mention the acting was actually well-done too for a short film with unknown actors; it never feels too much or overactive, and flows nicely with the pace of the story.
The plot is nicely tied in together with Jack’s old memories of a monster hunt and a book of rules for how to deal with this monster, something he and his brother shared as kids. Again, this also flows nicely with the theme of moving away, as they did not have to rely too much on memories of the past.
This monster also serves as a metaphor for the unknown and fearing what we do not know, tying in beautifully with how moving away represents leaving behind memories of your past and making new ones somewhere else. It makes perfect sense as to why this monster manifests again. The monster design by Robin and Jeremy Herbert is also very well-done, showing a child-like but also an adult sinister quality to its likeness.
The aesthetic of this short, in terms of sound and lighting, also progress well with the story and overall themes of the piece. It is very rare that you will see a short like this put together using very little special-effects, but the simplicity here should be applauded.
Overall, this treasure of a short would work well as a full-length feature, as it all has the ingredients for one. It deals with the themes of leaving behind the past, and how the unknown can sometimes bring a sense of dread even with the simplest of Horror tropes. Jack’s friends could have been more developed, but for the duration of this film it still works as they function well to further to plot along. If you like films or even shorts that deal with Supernatural and imaginative Horror, this is the short for you. CrypticRock gives The Childish Thing 4.5 out of 5.