Puzzle, The (2008)

2.0 out of 5

Clocking in at under five minutes, Davide Melini's short has, on first viewing, the look of a rookie film student's show reel. Clichéd camerawork, inappropriate music and a poor performance from the central character. However, The Puzzle does have a few things going for it. Tracking shots are nothing new, but here, Melini's off-kilter camera movement gives the viewer a real sense of imbalance, and hints at what could have been achieved if he hadn't relied on 80s slasher movie-style tension building.

The denouement comes as a mild surprise, but Melini, an experienced filmmaker who has worked with Argento on the appalling Mother of Tears, disappoints with a faintly amateurish piece of work. There is talent there, but perhaps he needs to forget everything he learnt from the master of over-hyped, if stylish, drek.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics