Cinepocalypse 2019: Curtis Matzke’s ‘The Orchestra’ – Short Film Review

From Director Curtis Matzke (Splinter 2018) comes the horror short, The Orchestra, which is being screened at the 2019 Cinepocalypse Genre Film Festival. The film follows a young woman who walks into a theater to find more than she bargained for. So let’s dive into the review!


While practicing her clarinet alone in a theater, a young woman is disturbed by an increasingly menacing presence.

The film starts off slow and escalates as the young woman comes to believes that she is not alone. The pacing and cinematography are well done as the tension builds in the final minutes of the film. We have little scares such as a chair moving, the young woman’s hair being blown, and haunting music coming from an empty theater. Music is important in this short film, since it is called The Orchestra. The ghostly orchestra provides a menacing atmosphere. The ending is a little cliche, in my opinion. It would have been better if the scare was not so predictable. However, for a film being a little less than six minutes long, it accomplishes what it set out to do.

The Orchestra was written, directed and produced by Curtis Matzke, who has several short films on his resume with his film company, Unfurnished Films. In addition, Justin Reifert (Big Rapids 2016) and Christopher Biewer (Freshwater 2016) worked as producers while Tony Scott-Green (The Life And Death Of An Unhappily Married Man 2015) worked on the film’s music with NoiseFloor Ltd as the sound mixer. Gillian Butcher (Everything Is Going To Be Fine 2016) played the young woman while Daniel McEvilley (Chicago Fire TV series) played the conductor. Michael Weldon was the director of photography and Zachary Korpi (We Are Columbine 2018) worked on the color.

Overall, the film was hauntingly chilling. I would love to see the film become a full feature film. As I watched this, I immediately flashed back to my own days in concert band playing the clarinet. I would change the ending scare though to something a little less predictable. That was my only complaint but other than that I think everything was well done. So listen closely, and heed the call of The Orchestra.

About Dani McKinney

Dani loves horror movies ever since she saw Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers with Danielle Harris. She loves vampires, her favorite movie is Interview with a Vampire. She reads constantly and mostly books about the supernatural and is also a paranormal investigator.

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