Movie Review Short Film Review

Film Review: DAWN OF THE DEAF (2016): A Horror Classic About the Foibles of Humanity

Dawn of the Deaf Logo

Dawn of The Deaf Review

Dawn of the Deaf (2016) Film Review, a short film directed by Rob Savage, and starring Caroline Ward, Haley Bishop, Radina Drandova, Stephen Collins, and Emily Bevan.

Dawn of the Deaf is as close to a short film masterpiece that I have ever seen. Run was memorable for numerous reasons but Dawn of the Deaf exceeds it. Both films have strong third acts. Each film is emotional and harsh but Dawn of the Deaf works on multiple levels through numerous storylines.

The stepfather / daughter storyline in Dawn of the Deaf was the most surprising of its three narratives. The unease, the despondency in Sam (Caroline Ward)’s eyes the viewer thought was due to her being deaf and her parents having the ability to speak. What that unease was really about was one of the sad stories of humanity inside the burgeoning, overall narrative of this film.

Throughout Dawn of the Deaf, the writer strove for and succeeded in showing the viewer snippets of what it was like to be deaf in the context of a domestic situation and within a larger story. That started with the stepfather and daughter storyline in Dawn of the Deaf.

An educated guess during while watching Dawn of the Deaf was that the stepfather saw an easy mark in Sam because of her inability to hear and her avoidance of speaking. The two of them had a history. The incident in Dawn of the Deaf was not the first time. From Sam’s physical reaction to her stepfather’s touch, this had been going on for some time.

The married couple segment of Dawn of the Deaf was the weakest of the film’s three segments. Seeing a man standing tall, having surmounted and conquered his affliction was an inspirational moment in the film. It was not, however, better than the stepfather / daughter segment of Dawn of the Deaf or the new love / “out-of-the-closet” segment.

The new love segment of Dawn of the Deaf was another instance of the film’s high quality dialogue. At first, the viewer thought that Nat (Haley Bishop) and Imogen (Radina Drandova) were talking about being deaf in a world built around being able to hear. The viewer thought one girl was embarrassed about signing in a coffee shop filled with people that could hear. Something else was going on as they sat at that table, something deeper, and far closer to the heart.

The ending to all three narrative segments in Dawn of the Deaf was the effective death of their current situations and the birth of another. A global situation that they all shared. For some, their everyday situations were improved through death but all of them had entered a new nightmare, a nightmare that would chase them to the ends of the Earth.

It was glorious how that nightmare burst on-screen in yellow letters, a homage to the very films that inspired Dawn of the Deaf and its director. When a person cares this much about the legacy they referenced, when the reverence showed the precision and craftsmanship involved, the creator (in this case Rob Savage) knew that they have taken on an awesome responsibility, the responsibility of “what’s next?”

Rating: 10/10

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created ProMovieBlogger.com and Trending Awards.com.

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