A Light Before the Dark [Valentina Premoli, Italy, 2018]
A Light Before the Dark is a short film from director Valentina Premoli. Its plot concerns a young woman named Celeste who begins having disturbing hallucinations and finds that people are seemingly ignoring her as she goes about her day.
The film is effectively a horror short story with the sort of twist horror short stories tend to have. Although A Light Before the Dark’s twist is a tad predictable, it is at least a competently made example of this type of story, with effective use of sound (or lack thereof) as well as strong camerawork, including some immersive point of view shots that help us to emphasise with Celeste’s distress.
The film’s main conceit, that of Celeste experiencing strange visions, sounds like a trite horror cliché but it is executed in a rather clever way. It initially appears that Celeste is being pulled between two worlds – one mundane, one disturbing – and the audience is not sure which world is a dream and which is real, an effective driving question for the first half of the film.
A Light Before the Dark’s primary theme is death and how it effects people. It conveys this theme with confidence in an effective and at times disturbing tale.
‘A Light Before Dark’ was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2019.