If you’ve read my review for the horror short, After Hours, then you’ll know how much I loved it. Right away, I noticed the name of the scriptwriter, an Australian named Adam Weber, and recognized him as the guy behind Adam The Movie God movie reviews. A movie by a movie reviewer? No wonder it checked all the boxes! He even served as a producer on the blood-soaked slasher, Terrifier (see our review here), so you know he’s all about the grit and the gore. In his latest short, The First Date, in which he not only wrote but also directed, edited, designed the sound and produced, the filmmaker reminds us of the painful awkwardness of a first date, but makes us realize that, no matter what happens, it’s never as bad as what happens here.
The synopsis is pretty simple…
A man gets more than he bargains for while on a blind date.
We all know that blind dates can certainly suck. Even in the internet age, there’s still that first look when they walk around the corner, and your reaction to it… the forced, stilted conversation and the uncomfortable silences in between… not knowing what to order or how much of it to eat… trying to decide if it’s time to cut and run… There’s so much shit to worry about. However, no one should ever have to go through what this poor schmuck (Chad McMartin: The Tomekeepers franchise) had to deal with.
The itching, ticking time passing in the beginning of The First Date more than exemplifies the tension of a horror short, all without showing a single blood drop. You have no idea what to expect. Will his date turn out to be a snake-haired Gorgon with a penchant for dessert? Will she be a succubus and drink up his lifeforce with her soda straw? Will she be normal but her axe-wielding ex-boyfriend shows up at the dinner table? I can safely say that the answer is D) None of the above.
Coming in at a cool five minutes, The First Date is an effective and blood-soaked addition to the horror short genre. Weber’s direction was spot on, and the lack of dialogue only intensified the end result to the nth power. Along with McMartin, the cast includes Stefanie Rossi (Almost Midnight 2016), David John Clark (Frequency 2015), Carol Lawton (Antaries 2018), Kylie Taylor (Rabbit 2017) and newcomers Cassandra Tragar and Anton Schrama. The gut-churning and incredibly impressive special effects were created by Leigh Madden (Wastelander Panda 2012).
My only qualm is that I wish the film had more story. It was a bit of a case of style over substance, leaving it hard for me to relate to the characters. How could I care much about what was going on when I had no idea who they were or if they deserved what happened to them? However, I still recommend The First Date, especially for those single people out there still looking for love in all the wrong places.