The Tattooist (short film) – Film Review

A Deliciously Dark 70 Seconds

Directed and written by Michael Wong, The Tattooist is an interesting little film, one that clocks in at 70 seconds and somehow manages to weave a surprising plot twist in the process. Managing to achieve this in such a short space of time is something that’s not easy to do but pulled off perfectly here.

Of course, talking about the story woven through this short film would essentially spoil the entire premise but suffice to say, it revolves around a tattooist in a neon-soaked studio and how his subject came to be there. I won’t say anything more for fear of spoiling the big twist but suffice to say, it’s a pretty good plot and something that certainly has the potential to be turned into a feature film.

Stylistically, the short relies a lot on hard, quick cuts and multiples fades which really accentuates the feel of this being more like a trailer than an actual film. Interestingly, the picture changes partway through the run time too, switching from bright, neon colours to much colder, murkier tones and it’s something that works really well against the story.

It’s worth noting too that some of the promotional posters for this film do give away the twist. It’s not a deal breaker and the main promotional poster on various sites online don’t show this but it’s still worth pointing out. While the art work itself is really well-made with some good blur effects and use of colour, unless you’ve watched the film I wouldn’t recommend searching for posters on this one.

Still, given that this clocks in at 70 seconds, you really owe it to yourself to check this out. I’ve always been a big fan of the short-short film format and being able to deliver a plot twist and a concise story in a little over a minute is something that certainly shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s not perfect but it is one of the better short films out there, one well worth your time.


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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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