Hide Your Crazy (2024)
Hide Your Crazy (2024)

Genre: Horror Comedy and Short Running Time: 14 min.

Release Date: April 5th, 2024 MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Director: Austin Kase Actors: Amy-Helene Carlson, William Lawrence Toussaint

 


 

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ith title graphics reminiscent of Roger Corman’s Z-grade slashers from the ‘70s and ‘80s, “Hide Your Crazy” isn’t attempting to shroud its schlocky presentation. The music is comparably prominent, with eerie yet giddy piano notes stricken in that typical horror-movie manner. And with its after-dark setting, utilizing cinematography that basks characters in shadows, quite a bit is instantly amiss, even as routine actions unfold.

Though Iris (Amy-Helene Carlson) somewhat timidly enters her house at night, it’s her boyfriend-of-six-months Dan (William Lawrence Toussaint) who needs to be fearful. Hiding away in the bedroom, he’s plotted an intricate, intimate birthday surprise, hoping for a romantic evening. Unfortunately, he’s chosen the exact wrong moment; as it turns out, Iris has been safeguarding a particularly frightening secret – and now they’ll have to confront it together, warts and all.

“You need to leave right now!” The dialogue could use some work, especially with repetitive fuming and fretting (coupled with brief flashbacks, which are decidedly needless in a short film), but the intention is sound. It’s evident that the idea is to use excessively chaotic, physically transformative grotesqueries to stand in for mental health issues, allowing hyperbolic lashings-out to demonstrate the ways in which people’s disorders might be viewed and handled. Ultimately, the message is exceptional; a little compassion goes a long way. Sharing and seeking help are likewise essential notions, suggested with the admittance that hiding vulnerabilities can be the easiest yet most nerve-wracking, primarily when facing rejection (a shot of Dan peering into a shattered mirror is an explicit yet competent example of illustrating his inner reflection). “You know you don’t have to do this alone.”

It’s a clever concept for a short subject, aided by convincing acting and excellent visual effects, blending computer-animated components with endearingly old-fashioned makeup (and masks) – brought to life by Santino Ferrese, whose credits include “Star Trek: Discovery.” Using sequences of gore to contrast the romcom vibes is also wise (love is horrifying!). The overall look and feel are nicely high-budget (masking the modest, actual funding), produced by the non-profit company Of Substance (which uses the art of filmmaking to reduce the stigma of addiction, trauma, and mental health), and helmed predominantly by a single man (writer/director/editor Austin Kase). In its most captivating moments, brief as they may be, it reminds of “Evil Dead” and “Fright Night,” both pictures that fused different genres together for an unexpectedly effective result.

– Mike Massie

  • 7/10