Conscience (2011) Movie Review
Skinny Cow Productions
Written By: Claire “Fluff” Llewellyn
Directed by: Claire “Fluff” Llewellyn
Stars: Ron Fitzgerald, Claire ‘Fluff’ Llewellyn, Matt Ukena, Deneen Melody, Kelsey Zukowski, Chris Michalek, Christopher Kahler, Vincent Bilancio, Jim Domiano, Brad Carmody
Release date: 2011
I think we’d all be hard pressed to find a horror fan who didn’t like Hannibal in Silence of the Lambs, right? Conscience, the latest film from British writer/director/actor Claire “Fluff” Llewellyn, is an ultra low-budget (we’re talking $500 here), thriller short about a Hannibal copy-cat killer targeting young women by enticing them with his version of a classy dinner date. Meanwhile, a psychology college student bites off more than he can chew by taking an on extra-credit project as a mad-scientists’ assistant.
This unique ode to Silence of the Lambs is both thought provoking and fun to watch. The opening scene in present day Chicago is my favorite, where a young woman is seated at the dinner table, blood trickling out of her mouth, sporting an awful laceration across her stomach. Of course I liked Ron Fitzgerald’s sinister character, Dr. Cotrel, as well as his dead on Hannibal accent and quotes. Fluff’s role as the psyche doc (or Clarice) made me smile throughout, from her implied lesbian pick-up scene in a cheesy bar to her use of a table saw during one of her key experiments. Kudos to the actors who all did a great job making their characters interesting!
Were there a bigger budget I found Conscience had plenty of material to support a full length movie. There was enough substance to easily justify it, as some character development left viewers hanging and I felt the story might have had more to offer given more time. The history around both the story of Conscience, and the characters, might have been a bit much for a short, but I still found the film to be a smart, likeable, conversation starter. If you’re looking for high dollar action with lots of blood and guts, this isn’t your movie. BUT, if you can appreciate art without the budget and you’re a Hannibal fan (hell, even if you’re NOT), you’ll find Fluff’s clever short was quite enjoyable! I look forward to her next film.
* Kudos to Fluff and company for Conscience being chosen to be in the 2012 Boston Stiletto Film Festival!!! *
“Horror is based on fear; fear is psychological” – Fluff