Moving on from co-directing wildly entertaining ‘haunted house’ chiller The Tour, writer/director Alex Mathieson returns to the short film format with new shocker Jitterman.

And what a treat he’s offered up here – a taut, tense, in-your-face thrillfest that certainly marks Mathieson out as one to keep an eye on.

The plot is very simple it must be said – classic genre fare really as it focuses on a babysitter (Naomi Petersen) in terror.

But rather than fighting off a knife-wielding maniac as she fends for youngster Charlie (Alexander Stuckey), the babysitter is instead at the mercy of the Jitterman (Tom Gordon), a mysterious presence with mayhem very much on his mind.

Just who is the Jitterman? Where did he come from? And how, if at all, can you defeat him?

To say much more would spoil the fun, as Mathieson’s short barely pauses for breath, its 12-minute run time fairly rattling along, taking the audience for one hell of a ride.

This is the work of a director on top of his game, from a neat ‘film-within-a-film’ ruse to some excellent use of shadow and suggestion.

True, the film does carry a whiff of ‘seen it all before’ – there’s even a ‘person appears behind closing fridge door’ jump scare, while the ending is not as much of a surprise as the makers probably hoped it would be.

But in many ways that is missing the point, as Mathieson’s work is so slick, so polished and bang on the money (helped by an excellent score by the ever-reliable Eric Elick) that it really doesn’t matter.

Expertly crafted, thrillingly directed, well acted and with a villain that is practically begging to get a bigger budget outing, it would be fascinating to see Mathieson given free reign with a feature production.

Let’s hope someone gives him that chance sooner rather than later.

Short Film Review: Jitterman
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

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.