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Cadair Y Fampir [Liam A. Matthews, UK, 2018]

Since Twilight’s [Catherine Hardwicke, USA, 2008] pasty heartthrob, vampires have been synonymous with sexuality. It comes as little surprise then, that Liam A. Matthews and his team chose this particular ghoul to explore erotic themes in this short Welsh horror.

As with most scary films, this short is all about nice people making stupid decisions. If a mysterious figure suddenly appears in the woods, it’s probably not the wisest thing to follow her unquestioningly. Nor is it pure genius to willingly enter a house well known for death and decay. Oh, and never ever go down into the basement.

"Hmmm... I wonder what's under here..."

Cadair Y Fampir’s reliance on these worn out tropes dampens what could have been a fresh look at our fascination with sex and vampires. It is also hard to feel anything for the characters when they meet their inevitable and predictable doom, as we know next to nothing about them. Moreover, despite a few seconds of kissing in the woods (also a tip from many a Hollywood horror: sex in isolated locations is not all its cracked up to be), there is no real focus on the mens’ sexuality and its relevance to what happens next.

Nonetheless, this film does do a very good job in orchestrating a spooky atmosphere. The bleak, dim colours of the landscape add to the sense of ghostly happenings, and shots of a sheet-covered chair are especially effective in their simplicity and precision. It is this tingling creepiness that gives frightening films that magic touch, but unfortunately this film does not have the substance to back it up.


'Cadair Y Fampir' was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2019.


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