Dark Dungeon Productions is home to several ‘made-with-heart’ short horror films by one Dannaka Cox (she holds the screen name of Dannaka fx on Twitter).
The one we’re gonna talk about today is The Zombie Curse, uploaded to Youtube on April 26, 2020.
The story is simple enough.
Budding paranormal investigator Axel, of Axel’s Paranormal Adventures has been accused of ripping off better-known paranormal investigator shows. Hoping to clear his name and prove his standing in the paranormal investigation world, he follows up on an urban legend he’s heard about.
As he records this bit of exposition for his show, we learn it’s a book with one paragraph that has the power to turn a person into a zombie.
We can see where this is going.
With only a runtime of 17 minutes and 8 seconds, The Zombie Curse somehow finds the perfect amount of balance within that short time to lay out our main character, his goals, and introduce his quest—and the obstacles therein—and the fairly obvious end.
In case it wasn’t obvious Dannaka herself stars as Axel’s foil, the holder of the very book he needs for his channel. As shown above, she has it under lock and key—for good reason, she says—and no amount of money thrown at her will allow her to budge. This scene showed me two things: The main character’s aforementioned determination for his goal, and besides Dannaka’s laudable acting chops, her unnamed character’s insistence that this particular book is one not to be read out loud—or filmed being read aloud for that matter.
I was extremely surprised at the amount of locations used for a low budget production. That’s no slight on it. Dannaka manages to use various spaces—even a bedroom at night—to tell this story of desperation and folly, and she uses it well.
I’m not going to spoil what happens, as that defeats the purpose, I feel, of this review, but I just gotta say, the lengths Axel took to get his hands on that paragraph-long-book was almost admirable in his blindness to her warnings. The use of night and day in this short film worked well to compliment the story told and made certain scenes all the more urgent and compelling.
All in all, I gravely enjoyed this short film, which spurred in me a genuine interest in how it would unfold, and given time and more money, I’m sure Dark Dungeon Productions will become a great film production company to rival the many out there.
The Monster: Axel’s desire to clear his name in a desire to be seen differently in his community. His actions were ‘monstrous’ in the way that he ignored her warnings and moved to procure the book for himself, ultimately receiving a much deserved fate.
Monster Rating: 8/10 for a well-crafted short film that used a lot of space in a linear story that’s sure to unsettle the viewer and keep them entertained until the end.
You can watch the short film here or click below: