Short, but most definitely not sweet (in the strictly sickly sense), Damon Rickard’s Dissociative is a jarring jolt of psychological horror, a murderous riddle wrapped up in a blanket of potential personality disorder.

Told in roughly five minutes, the short once again showcases Rickard’s storytelling ability, and backs up the sterling work he produced on The Tour and The Package.

As with those two shorts, Rickard again teams up with leading man Tom Gordon for what is essentially a two-hander – or a one-hander and a dead body if we’re being exact.

Gordon plays Frank, who wakes in his bedroom to find wife Sue (Amanda Hunt) slumped on their bed, bloodied and very much dead.

Phoning the police, Frank seems confused by the whole scenario and it’s not hard to see why, with the film then rewinding to show us that husband may have a better idea of exactly what happened to his wife – even if he doesn’t realise it at first……

That’s essentially it, but remember we are dealing with a project that Rickard himself admits was always intended as a ‘slam-bang’ piece of work.

The direction is assured, and once again Gordon carries the film with ease – having gone from smooth-talking bad-boy in The Tour, to menacing gangster in The Package, to befuddled, troubled husband this time round.

Rickard has shown an adeptness for a number of horror sub-genres, having taken in ghostly tales, creature feature (sort of), gangster brutality and now psychological torment – and it will be intriguing to see just where he goes next.

Unlike his previous shorts, which contained so many ideas and cinematic flourishes that you could easily envisage them being expanded into full-blown features, Dissociative very much does what it says on the tin as a short film.

I’m just glad I got to view it via screener, allowing me to give it numerous watches and catch the nuances so cleverly pieced throughout.

A thoroughly recommended head-scratcher.

Horror Channel Frightfest review: Dissociative
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.