In the memorable scene from the popular series ‘Breaking Bad’, Hank Schrader finds himself inside his car, receiving a call from an unidentified voice warning him about two impending assailants. The following thirty seconds stretch into what feels like an entire lifetime, where the outcome is certain, yet the identity of the perpetrators and the method of attack remain shrouded in mystery. Each passing moment amplifies the tension, with every external movement appearing ominously prophetic.
This same gripping intensity is brilliantly captured in Brad McClane’s ‘Bacillus’, where the protagonist Sawyer (portrayed by Harry Davenport) experiences a chilling phone call from his mother while engrossed in a video game. Instructed to maintain normalcy and anticipate the unfolding events, Sawyer complies, awaiting the next call. However, an eerie twist awaits when he decides to return the call.
McClane adeptly showcases his mastery of suspense in this short film, proving that a compelling horror narrative doesn’t necessitate exorbitant budgets. All it requires is a well-crafted script and a skilled director capable of skillfully maneuvering through it. The tension in ‘Bacillus’ is palpable; after the initial phone call, anticipation for the worst builds, transforming a mere six-minute film into a gripping mental odyssey that seems to stretch for hours, unveiling limitless possibilities.
Kudos are due to Michelle Gomez and Harry Davenport for their flawless performances. Gomez’s portrayal of the mother stands out as one of the most terrifying characters ever encountered, precisely because her motives remain enigmatic. Considering these elements, it’s safe to assert that ‘Bacillus’ stands as one of the most remarkable horror film projects witnessed this year, encapsulating all the right elements in a brief yet spine-chilling experience.
Written by Vlad A. G.