A modern reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart," Kevin Sluder's directorial debut, Heartless, explores one woman's violent journey through the bloodthirsty corporate world. With Heartless currently enjoying a well-received run on the festival circuit, we've been provided with a look at the short film's chilling trailer for Daily Dead readers to experience.
You can watch the Heartless trailer below, and we also have insights on the making of the short film from executive producer Jennifer Sluder and writer/director Kevin Sluder.
"Synopsis: Shelby Lattimore (played by Stacy Snyder), is an overlooked executive who struggles to complete a corporate presentation while a horrific secret that gnaws on her conscience.
Coming up in Sept, Heartless will screen the Horrible Imaginings Festival on Sept 2nd, Genre Blast Film Festival Sept 2nd, FilmQuest Festival on Sept 13th and NOLA Film Festival Sept. 20th. Heartless will also screen Women In Horror Film Festival Oct 6th. Heartless is also nominated for Best Screenplay, Short Film, Best Ensemble Cast, Short Film & Best Editing Short Film for FilmQuest Festival and Best Psychological Short for Women In Horror Film Festival.
Cast: Stacy Snyder, Joanna Sotomura, Matt Mercer, Blaine Vedros, Ron Morehouse, Melody Melendez. Written and Directed by Kevin Sluder. Produced by Jose Gonzalez and Rachel Ferrell. Executive Produced by Kevin and Jennifer Sluder. Edited by Matt Mercer. Cinematographer Mike Testin. Music Steve Moore. Assistant Director Melissa Vitello. Production Design Rachel Ferrell. Key Makeup Artist Emily Lowe. Special Makeup/Blood F/X Josh and Sierra Russell, Russell FX. Associate Producers Bryan Ricke and Melissa Vitello."
Jennifer Sluder: "I had a blast researching the wardrobe for our cast! Kevin wanted to place the viewer in a position to immediately dislike the gentlemen who so adeptly act out their misogynistic roles. He wanted us to identify with the Shelby character so that when she starts doing her crazy things, we might go along for the ride and enjoy it. So, we modeled the wardrobe after Gordon Gekko in Wall Street and the characters in American Psycho played by Christian Bale and Jared Leto.
Plus, it was fun buying multiples of the same tie and informing the confused sales person that it’s going to get bloody in the office ;) Being on set was a treat, too. It was Kevin’s directorial debut and it was cool watching the team he assembled helping him make his vision become a reality. We’re very fortunate to have some incredibly talented friends who are also super nice people. They worked very hard to help us and I think the end product really shows the fruits of all their labor."
Kevin Sluder: "I couldn't agree more. I'm so proud of the Heartless team and so thankful for all they did to get this short film made. As Jen mentioned, Heartless is my directorial debut. I had been working on a short script that I was thinking I would direct, but it wasn't coming together. I decided to help out my friends Bryan and Mel (the owners of the house used in the film) on a shoot and the subject of Edgar Allan Poe came up. I raved about "The Tell-Tale Heart", as it's my favorite story by him. Then, that night, on the way home, the first scene popped into my head, very much like how it turned out in the film. Stacy, staring at her reflection in the mirror, trying to keep herself together, having done something really awful the night before. There was something so alluring about that image.
When I got home, I re-read the story and remembered just how cool the original tale was. At that point, I thought, "Let's make this thing!" I didn't want to do a blow by blow adaptation. Period pieces are not my strong suit. I felt like if I placed the story in a modern corporate atmosphere, it just might click with audiences in a different way. I wrote the script in a few weeks, sent it out to a bunch of my friends, and the rest is history. So, the moral to the story I suppose—outside of "be nice to your co-workers because you really, REALLY don't know what they were up to the night before"—is to help out your friends. You never know which direction your life will take because of it."
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