“THIS TWIST ENDING REALLY PACKS A PUNCH…”
After the death of their grandmother, siblings Hailey and Kevin visit their grandpa on his isolated farm. They soon discover strange things happening in both the house and their grandpa’s mind. Aside from his caretaker having vanished, they grow concerned after learning that Grandpa shares a drink with his dead wife and another unseen entity each night. They siblings argue about Grandpa’s mental wellness, but they must unravel the meaning of his new ritual before having to face its tragic consequences.
Jack C. Hays, Eden McGuire and Ben Richardson
Written and directed by:
“A Little Dead” tackles the uncertainty of Alzheimer’s and Dementia and the brutal impact it has on a loving family. Whether Grandpa is haunted only by memories or by actual ghosts, the siblings struggle to face the monster that’s disrupted their peaceful weekend visit.
The story was inspired by actual events in Ben Richardson’s life in dealing with a grandparent’s potential diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Dementia. Richardson knew he wanted to explore the precariousness of mental health issues facing elderly people, but also felt the story lended itself to a supernatural twist that elevates the eeriness and unsettled anxiety surrounding the characters.
Screening at Film Festivals:
Friday, June 10th at 8:10 PM & Sunday, June 12th at 5:00 PM in the “Okie Shorts Volume #2” block
Thursday, June 16th at the TCL Chinese Theater in the “Fusion Shorts Group 5” block
Many more film festival announcements coming soon!
What it means to be in these festivals from writer/director Ben Richardson:
“It truly means so much to myself and the team to be included in these two film festivals specifically. Dances With Films: LA because of the amazing job they do year after year to elevate indie filmmakers and make sure they have a remarkable experience, and deadCenter because it is always so wonderful to be able to screen to a home crowd– Especially when it’s at the largest festival in Oklahoma. It also helps that both are Academy Award-qualifying, but really and truly (at least for me) I see that aspect more as a perk than the main reason for being excited to be involved. At the end of the day, it’s about growing your film family, and I really feel that both of these festivals do that in spades.”
“It doesn’t take long for this short film to set up the tension for both the siblings, and the audience. While the siblings worry about grandpa, the audience will worry about the potential horror to come. The unease is amplified with the darkness around the farm, and dim lighting inside. Oh, and of course grandpa doesn’t help with his odd explanations about what’s going on, and his ritual. The best part is definitely the payoff, as the siblings and audience get answers to what has been happening with grandpa. It becomes easy to see why this film has been selected at several film festivals, and surely to win some awards along the way!” – HorrO’s Gory Reviews
“A Little Dead is a good example of the type of psychological horror film that tells you things but doesn’t actually show you them. With horror films, it’s always more uncomfortable to await something than to actually experience it; the anticipation is the scary part, and the ‘jump scare’ is the release. A Little Dead has many chances to provide you with routine shock and horror and even provides a plausible opportunity to descend into uncomfortable violence like thousands of others in the slasher films sub-genre, but it refuses to go down the obvious routes and doesn’t release anything at all. Once or twice, we shift in our seats, but for the majority of this 13-minute short film, it’s all waiting, anticipating, and dreading.” – Screen Critix
“There’s not a lot happening in this short of roughly 15 minutes, and it seems even more of the movie’s backstory is kept completely in the dark – and both only contributes to the creepiness of the film, it’s the utter lack of action or explanations that creates its atmosphere of unease, that gives one the indication that something’s wrong long before the movie’s twist ending. And like in good old fashioned short stories or indeed the best episodes of the classic Twilight Zone, this twist ending really packs a punch, making this a great watch.” – Search My Trash
For the latest updates about the film, please follow it on Instagram & Twitter: @ALittleDeadFilm
More About the Film from Cast & Crew
-Ben Richardson (writer/director):
“The mind is the single most powerful attribute that any of us has, but occasionally when we advance in age it can begin to slip. Sometimes it can slip by what it interprets as reality, sometimes we lose our memory, and sometimes we see what we want (or don’t want) to see.
A Little Dead is a suspense wrapped drama that, at its core, is a metaphor for the monster that is dementia. Sometimes advancing more quickly because of life events, it usually starts with the memories on the edge of the mind and works its way inward until it’s gone altogether.
Birthed from the viewpoint of actual events that transpired, I set out to make a story that explored the uncertainty of what elderly people go through when they advance in age, but with a supernatural twist.
Is the monster real, or is it all in Grandpa’s mind? The answer is: it is exactly what you want it to be, and that’s the beauty of this film. You can leave telling your friends you just watched a horror film, or a drama; it’s all in the eye of the beholder.”
-Jack C. Hays (Grandpa-Lead):
“I assume that this is a character flaw in my makeup, but I have a much easier and ironically naturally comfortable experience in playing against my normal “Jack” personality as I am usually what mostwould call “pleasant, sweet, soft spoken, nice guy, dependable” etc etc. That is why I believe I love acting so much: I can justifiably get out of my nice guy pants and play caustic, perhaps broken characters that do not feel the need to please anyone but themselves.
Upon first reading of the script “Just a Little Dead” I had a pretty clear idea of how I wanted to play Grandpa. Our director Ben Richardson tweaked a little, but for the most part he trusted my instincts and decisions and let me run with it.
I very much enjoyed participating in this film and send my gratitude to all of the cast and crew. And It was easy to get into the vibe of the old (possibly haunted??) farm house because that is exactly where it was filmed! To an old country boy like meit was heaven: a beautiful old farmhouse with a magnificent huge barn….such a joy!But the last word: really, could he or could he not?..DID HE OR DIDN’T HE?”
-Eden McGuire (Hailey-Supporting):
“A little dead was the best introduction I could have had to filmmaking. They really put the team in teamwork, and I am so grateful and proud to say I was apart of this film. I hope people see beyond the mystery of it, and dive into the layers of each character to fully enjoy the beauty of Ben’s brain.”