Saturday, April 13

The Lure (2020) Horror Short Film – Hounds of the Round Table

This psychological thriller will have you on edge and avoiding your mobile phone.

Hounds of the Round Table is a small, talented and resourceful independent production house from Liverpool. The Lure is where they announce their presence and their intentions to the world.

The film tells the story of Toby a depressed man grieving over the death of his girlfriend Laura. Most of the action takes place in Toby’s untidy apartment where he chooses to sleep on the sofa each night and drink himself silly with only his dog, Sergeant, to keep him company.

Things quickly take a bizarre twist when Laura starts calling Toby from beyond the grave. A disturbing feature of the film is the image of Toby’s phone lit up with ‘Laura calling’ and the persistent ring tone which blends in seamlessly with the unnerving soundtrack.

At first Toby is excited, if confused, to be able to speak to his dead girlfriend. They spend hours chatting and for a time it looks like Toby will clean the flat and tidy the kitchen. There are allusions to Toby’s previous drinking and how bad things were before he got better. Toby carries guilt that his own problems and his inability to listen to Laura may have led to her death.

Laura proposes to take the game a step further. There is only one way they will be back together – if Toby dies. This is the only way he can ‘fix what he did’. There is even room for Sergeant in this scheme, although he is never consulted.

Toby is not ready to die although there is very little for him to live for and the story begins to race towards a gruesome finale.

Paul Linden Lamb is excellent as tortured Toby, he visibly deteriorates during the film and is utterly convincing as a grieved and guilt-ridden partner. Caitlin Bradley is absolutely terrifying as dead Laura; it is almost entirely her voice we experience and this shifts from sweet girlfriend to vengeful ghoul with unnerving ease.

Ryan Jones wrote and directed this twenty-minute masterpiece and he as his Hound partner Will Grunhill and their team have really served up a tense, edgy psychotic thriller which has cult written all over it. The camera work helps create the jumpy mood and pace of the film and the anxious and restless soundtrack is fitting.

It will be great to see what else this company can produce.

Reviewer: Bob Towers

Reviewed: 25th October 2020

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★