Shorts are always a tricky thing to review. Some of the best shorts that I have seen have featured intriguing premises that left me craving a full length adaption while the worst didn’t do anything to set themselves apart. In which of these two categories does The Man in the Rabbit Mask fall?
The Man in the Rabbit Mask was directed by Ariel Hansen from a script by Joel H. Brewster and stars Holly Burr, Iris Truong, Chris Walters, and Katherine Slingsby. The short film tells the story of two young girls who summon an urban legend, the rabbit masked man Mr. Rabbity, with a nursery rhyme. He offers a gift but it comes at a steep price. Is it a price the girls are willing to pay?
The film starts out with two friends having a sleepover. One of the girls, Cara, tells her friend, Lucy, the legend of Mr. Rabbity, who killed 19 children after luring them into the woods with chocolate. The legend says that if you recite the rhyme, “I dare you to laugh. I will get you to scream. I may show up to take you or just in a dream. I trade sweets for souls, that is part of my game. Read this poem by candle and three times speak my name,” and then do as it says, he will appear to offer you sweets at the cost of your soul.
First off, I absolutely love the poem. It manages to be playful yet sinister and I could see it being something that young children recite in hushed voice to scare each other at slumber parties. The introduction to the character of Mr. Rabbity was suitably creepy. His appearance and overall demeanor is completely unnerving. Add to this the fact that the sound of his voice and the sight of his gifts puts susceptible children in a trance and you got everything necessary to make an utterly compelling and monstrous villain. The ending to the short left me sufficiently freaked out, which I’m sure was made worse by my overwhelming fear of mirrors. Ultimately, The Man in the Rabbit Mask left me wanting to know more. I’m extremely pleased to report that a feature length version has been written and I wholeheartedly hope it gets made sooner rather than later as I honestly can’t wait to see it.
The Man in the Rabbit Mask is an excellent short that felt like a loving tease for something bigger and better that I frankly can’t wait to see. Starting February 6th, it will be available for free viewing here. Please give it a watch and if you are so inclined, give a vote to help it win the second round of the Storyhive competition. Be sure to spread the word!