“Hopscotch” (2014): a Delightfully Twisted Horror Thriller Short
Bridget, a hooker by trade, is lured into a big, beautiful house for what she thought would be a normal night. Instead, she is tricked by two women who have more than just candy to offer her.
HOPSCOTCH is a twenty-six minute horror/thriller film that shows how a harmless children’s game can become a metaphor for corruption of the deepest, darkest, and most insidious kind. For the film, director Kirsten Walsh transformed her primary shooting location (the Goodbread Inn Bed and Breakfast in St. Mary’s, Georgia) into a house of hidden horrors. Here, Bridget (Amanda Ayres) — a part-time escort — thinks she is hopping into a rich man’s bed for some easy money. When Volene (Christin Easterling), his personal assistant, leads her to twisted heiress Rebecca (Karen Overstreet) instead, Bridget finds that she has jumped unwittingly into a deception that leads straight into a nightmare. This film may have only three actresses, but it contains more than three bodies!
Written by Christian Nelson, the film was in pre-production for six months, then shot by Walsh (an active duty military member whose filmography includes more than ten titles) — with the assistance of the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance — in less than a week in December, 2013. It is currently in the post-production/ editing phase. FRISCO KID received access to a screener copy of the film in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The movie opens by juxtaposing footage shot in a torture dungeon with images from the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton, which establishes the time of the story in 1993. This montage plays a role in the story itself. Rebecca uses Clinton’s new presidency as a metaphor in the course of explaining herself and her view of the world and other people. However, Rebecca reveals herself and her history only gradually — and never fully to Bridget, whose previous relationship with Volene both helps and hurts her. Only the audience learns the full truth about what Rebecca does (with Volene’s assistance) in the old house.
This film highlights the diversely perverse consequences of social rejection and alienation. Overstreet is deliciously evil as Rebecca, a WASPy candy dynasty heiress who vents her anger at being excluded from the family business in a most perverse way. As Bridget, Ayres demonstrates the depths to which the “popular” girls can slide, once they graduate from high school. However, underneath her bubble-headed exterior, Bridget is smarter than she lets on, a fact that Rebecca picks up on. As Volene, Easterling plays the classic female high school social misfit who’s out to get her revenge on the “popular” girl who humiliated her, but is nevertheless still subservient to a more powerful (and much more malevolent) female.
Under Walsh’s direction, Nelson’s screenplay about these three women becomes a film whose story develops at the right pace. Having foreshadowed what is to come (without spoiling the ending), the film gradually builds tension as its story becomes more complicated. The use of the Clinton inauguration footage is cleverly weaved into the film, the bulk of which is DP Dave Pelosi’s interesting and creative camera work on two starkly different sets. Also, there is plenty of room left by the story’s conclusion for a sequel and/or an expanded, feature-length version of the movie.
HOPSCOTCH is set for a Summer 2014 release. The filmmakers also plan to showcase the film in several upcoming film festivals. FRISCO KID highly recommends seeing this film at a festival or theater near you.
For further information about director Kirsten Walsh, read her interview with Rogue Cinema.
For updated information about HOPSCOTCH’s release and festival screenings, follow the film’s Facebook page.