Flashback (2023) Movie Review – Netflix’s short horror squanders potential

Netflix’s short horror squanders potential

Flashback is a simple horror short and it plays on the age-old idea of what would happen if we could change the past. What would happen if we went back and took a different path in life? How drastic would our life be? And could we do that if it meant protecting the ones we love?

Flashback uses this idea alongside a creepy reaper-type creature called Dr Bones, which looks to be a really endearing character. Unfortunately, like the rest of this short film, its concepts are only surface level and aren’t explored in all that much detail. It’s a shame too because there’s a lot to like with this one, but in many ways, the old Goosebumps episode, Cuckoo Clock of Doom (the 90’s one, not Disney’s remake) is far more cohesive in the way it delivers this message and presents its ideas. 

That’s not the only clear nod of influence. There are sprinklings of Inside No. 9 and also Channel Zero here, but both present a far more cohesive and polished experience than Flashback.

There are a few nice moments though, including Jess circling through her life, and the dialogue is pretty sharp all round. It’s just a shame that the rest of this picture is blunt and lacks a cutting edge to really get to the dark and dangerous scares that this is crying out for. In fact, this one has no discerning scares or horror elements to speak of, save for one moment very early on.

Instead, Flashback is much more of a light thriller, but the lack of exploration for key themes throughout this film is a disappointment. It’s not a bad short, but it’s not a particularly good one either.

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  • Verdict - 5.5/10

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