In my opinion, short films can be a mixed bag, especially when their runtimes are south of fifteen minutes. The shorter end of the short film genre can confuse an audience, making them wondering why there wasn’t more story, while others leave them begging for a feature-length version. The Barber Brothers’ (Matthew and Nathaniel Barber: The Last 2018, Windigo franchise) short, Go Back snuggles up perfectly between those two scenarios, delivering a self-contained, spooky little story. It’s no wonder the film is an official selection for Cinepocalypse 2019.
In the fall of 1978, a distraught commuter travels down a haunted country road only to discover that its inhabitants have other plans.
Go Back is the perfect little short with feature film charisma. It actually brought me back to the days of my childhood where I would rummage through flea market bins and the downtown, dust-filled tinderboxes known as vintage magazine stores. I would meticulously go through every box searching for the gem that was the 1970s horror comic! Go Back IS the film version of that sweet, rapid-fire, ’70s short story gold that’s been missing in my life for so long.
The Barber Brothers do everything right when it comes to production design and quality, all the while keeping the living, ’70s-themed horror comic feel alive with their distinct camera work and surreal lighting choices.
For a film that clocks in at roughly six minutes, Go Back takes its time and slowly builds tension, right up until the crescendo of an ending which hearkens back to classic horror short stories which used to fly off the shelves at nostalgic 75 cents an issue.
The Barbers have great attention to detail, which I noticed during the scene where you can see the old school late 70’s flashlight near the back window of the car. I zeroed in on that immediately and appreciated their attention to detail and continuity. As in most cases, a great score is just as important when it comes atmosphere, Juan Carlos Enriquez (The Girl in The Spider’s Web 2018) deserves to take a bow for the phenomenal musical work he did on this film.
The next time I find myself driving down a lonely road and a series of plastic covered mannequins blocking my way decide to whisper advice to me on the wind, you better believe I’ll take heed.
I absolutely loved Go Back. The Barber Brothers have that thing that only certain storytellers possess. Their sense of timing and visual prowess all combine to pull the audience into their story and then hold them there to the very end. I highly recommend everyone take the time to enjoy this short film and give encouragement to the Barber Brothers, because I can’t wait to see what they have to show us next!