When it comes to witches and their representation in film, things have for the most part ventured into becoming pretty stale. With the exception of films like The Witch, The Lords of Salem, and Cherry Tree, genre films dealing with witchcraft, covens, and so on tend to fall into the stereotypical silliness that pop culture has put on the idea of witches and similar themes and figures. It takes something special to change that, to offer viewers a fresh look and approach, and thankfully, that’s exactly what we get with the Keith Thomas-helmed short film, Arkane.
Focusing on a couple with less than noble intentions of breaking into an elderly woman’s home to extract some of her blood, Arkane gives its viewers not only an interesting approach and aesthetic, but it’s a combination of beautifully eerie cinematography and a synth wave-based score that makes the film feel completely unique. We find ourselves curious as to why the couple wants/needs the woman's blood, and as half of the duo goes inside to get the blood, we’re slowly put into an environment that looks and FEELS unsettling and very unsafe for the would-be criminals. Whispers, appearances of naked figures, and some devilish happenings begin to transpire and it’s a creepy kind of joy to watch everything get shot right to hell for the couple, as they learn that a witch’s bloodline is not to be messed with.
Arkane shows that Thomas has a great eye for detail and sound—the marriage of the two comes out great, joining each other wonderfully in the film and really leaving you, as a viewer, wanting more, hoping for a feature version of this wild and moody story. I’m very curious to see what Keith and his crew have coming next, because if Arkane (which you can watch in its entirety below) is any indication of what they’re capable of, then we, Daily Dead readers, have a force of nature on our hands.
NSFW short film: