Film - Terry and Brenda

Terry and Brenda

Now available to watch online, the independently produced short film Terry and Brenda is reviewed by our own short Steve Taylor-Bryant...

A clear conscience is the sign of a bad memory.

There is something quite creepy about a smoking man in a vest sitting on a sofa watching television. I do not know why, flashbacks to my childhood maybe but, from the first minute of this fifteen minute short I felt slightly on edge. Listening to the couple chatting as they watched TV did nothing to ease the creepiness, especially the comments about the birthmark.

The film takes a turn after Terry demands that Brenda follows him upstairs and this justifies my creeped out feelings at the start as we see dirty Y-fronts and an ill-fitting bra, being covered by PVC gimp suits. A video camera is switched on, followed by barking and begging, spanking, oral sex simulated, and a kick to the testicles which had me pausing the film as my eyes had watered up.

When I switched the film back on, I discovered another sickening twist as Brenda physically threatens her daughter for talking to people she calls The Visitors. Listening to "You remember what happened to your sister don't you" delivered by Debra Baker as Brenda is possibly one of the scariest line deliveries I have seen in a film this year, and sets in mind a horrific feeling of dread.

The story moves on and we get a first look at one of The Visitors themselves, with Kelly just sitting staring at him with the kind of smile you never want to see on a child’s face. Meanwhile, with the bondage now over, Terry and Brenda get changed and make tea in a way that could be mistaken for near normality, albeit with some very sinister additions to the scene of domestic bliss which hint at who rest of The Visitors might be.

What writer and director Jamie Hooper has managed to produce in fifteen minutes is astonishing. He has a couple that are so like any other married folk, sitting on a couch, chit chatting away, and so very obviously in love in each other. Some kinky sex is introduced and at this point I was thinking to myself "Oh, one of these type of films" but then the massive twist, added to the shock of their daughter witnessing it, the dread of knowing that another daughter is probably dead somewhere, all ended by a normal happy moment between a couple in love. Tim Blackwell as Terry was well cast, a cross between Jim Royal and Fred West, the notorious killer, but it is Debra Baker's Brenda that deserves the plaudits. Just one look from Brenda is enough to make your heart grow cold and that is some feat from an actress with just fifteen minutes to go from the soft spoken, dutiful house wife to terrorising freak and back again.

An unnerving, uncomfortable and yet superb film.

Image - Fingercuff productions.

Watch the full film below.

Terry and Brenda from Jamie Hooper on Vimeo.

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