20/01/2015 10:00 GMT | Updated 15/03/2015 05:59 GMT

'Done In' - the Review... and the Joy of Short Films

The short film can be a thing of beauty, getting to the point obviously far faster than most features 10 times their length.

So I am happy to say that Done In, starring one of my favourite actors, Guy Henry, is the best short film I have seen in many a moon.

Little wonder it created a buzz at last year's Cannes Film Festival.


Image: Dark Art Films Ltd

Beautifully written, lit, acted and directed, it's a poignant tale that unfolds elegantly.

However, in the last few seconds I had hoped it wouldn't stray down the avenue of predictability, and was handsomely rewarded with one of the best pay-offs of the past 12 months.

Obviously I'm not going to reveal too much here. I'll just say it's the tale of one man, a rather important letter and a finale that leaves you uneasy, in the best possible sense.

At a little over eight minutes there is little chance of 'Done In' outstaying its welcome.

(I wished most mainstream features would pack such a punch in their often over long running time).


Image: Dark Art Films Ltd

Writer/director Adam Stephen Kelly is definitely a film maker to watch out for in the future. I cannot wait to see what he does next, and whether he can sustain this level of brilliant storytelling over 90 minutes or more.

There is a professionalism to his movie which leaves me quite depressed. Not because of the quality of the film, but because it is directed by a man in his early 20s. I wished I'd had the chance to create something as clever at that age.

But then again, great film-makers like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Orson Welles had all made an indelible mark on cinema by the time they were a similar age.

It's a shame movies are so obsessed with 90 minute plus features rather than the good old short film format.

Kelly's is a great reminder of what fine work can be achieved in such a brief running time.

In an age where online video sharing is more and more common, it seems the short film has been given a new lease of life. So it's a shame we don't get to see more bite-sized films on TV and in cinemas.

Back in the day you would regularly see short features accompanying mainstream films.

I'm not sure why that genre dried up, but it would be great to see it make a return in multiplexes.

Failing that, I'd love to see the return of the anthology movie like classic 1970s shockers Asylum or From Beyond the Grave.

Relatively recent offering The ABCs of Death may not have been outstanding, but it reminded me how handy anthology movies are for dipping into. After all, for viewers weaned on channel hopping and fast cutting, they seem like the way forward now 3D has outstayed its welcome.

I don't normally do the whole star rating thing, but if I had to Done In is an easy five out of five.