The Sweet Hand of the White Rose
Directed by: Davide Melini
Sometimes short form storytelling is extremely potent. I was reminded of this when I was searching for a completely different on my mac, and came across the link to indie filmmaker, Davide Melini’s charming The Sweet Hand of the White Rose. See, already now you are curious to what this could be, as the name echoes Giallo and EuroGoth heritage. You won’t be disappointed, and amusingly enough, Melini’s short spook flick also comes with an crucial message!
One sentence synopsis, go:
Whilst paying an unsolicited visit to unfortunate young Rose’s [Natasha Machuca] grave, Mark [Carlos Bahos] is startled by sudden lightning, bloody tracks and a figure in white which beckons him towards a dark corner of the cemetery where a harrowing secret is soon to be revealed.
Despite only being just under seventeen minutes, and very sparse on dialogue, Melini manages to create a good atmosphere, momentary tension, a few effective jump scares and last moment twist. Despite much in The Sweet Hand of the White Rose being somewhat predictable - come on, we watch genre movies every day and we know how stuff clicks - I would be interested to see where Melini would go with a full feature script as he, already in his short works, manages to - even if briefly – tap into what I see as keystones of effective horror storytelling; remorse, guilt, and empathy. It’s kind of restrained in short form, but given more time for exposition, tricks and traits, then the sky is the limit, and Melini is already using genre to spread an important message!
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Melilni’s name pop up again in a near future (fingers crossed), he’s already shot several attention-grabbing short films, worked as an assistant director on Dario Argento’s Mother of Tears: The Third Mother, and has seen his movies, both The Sweet Hand of the White Rose and its predecessor Puzzle, play to great reception at the 32’nd Fanta Festival in Italy, and several other niched festivals since it’s release. I certainly hope he get’s a shot at a full feature, because his movies are certainly short cinema at their finest.
You can easily check out The Sweet Hand of the White Rose on Davide Melini’s official youtube page, HERE, and it will take you less time to watch then deciding what the next film of the evening will be.
My apologies go out out Davide for taking forever to review this movie. Just as in his film, life sometimes get’s on the way of what you intended, but today it had the power of stopping me in my tracks and hooked me completely once again.