Beneath is a four minute short based on the horror game The Guts of the City, both created by the hugely talented Jonu Films. This is the first short film I’ve reviewed that is also a game, which immediately sparked my interest after stumbling across Jonu YouTube. I am (albeit an easily scared) fan of horror gaming so I am definitely going to pluck up the courage to play it at some point! If you guys want to play it too, you can check it out here.
First and foremost, the animation style is absolutely stunning. It’s primarily black and white with occasional flashes of colour, reminiscent of Sin City. I loved the way the world Jonu created was completely drained of colour, reflecting the bleak existence of the people in it. I am a huge fan of this stylistic choice as it immediately sets the scene for the audience without much exposition. We know exactly what kind of world this is from the get go.
The film is very Noir in nature, as we have a hard-boiled detective narrating the story and what happened to him. I love the voice acting in Beneath as we rely entirely on this narration to know what’s going on, as well as keep us engaged throughout the course of the film. The storyline is incredibly bleak and makes you think, I almost wish it was longer so I could find out more about what happens following the ending! Normally I would like a bit more context behind a film, but I really liked the ambiguity of it all as it forces you to think about the film afterwards, and why you might think society ended up like that. In this case, I thought keeping it open to interpretation was a brilliant idea.
Beneath is a solid independent short film with a unique animation style and an engaging storyline. I was really impressed with what Jonu created here, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
If you would like to follow Jonu Films on social you can find the links below, as well the full short film: