We meet the elderly protagonist as she boards the double-decker bus, relatively calm. The second-floor, front row seat puts her at ease, despite the late hour. It’s been a long night. She just wants to go home.
But through the windshield, she sees a figure’s reflection in the back of the bus. When she turns to look, they’re gone. Over the roaring engine, we hear fabric from her jacket rub against itself each time she turns to the window and to the backseat.
Are they coming closer?...
We squint to see what they look like…
as they come closer…
Played by Susan Barham, the woman steadily transforms from serene, to surprised, to scared. Her eyes widen each time she looks behind her. The content smile she had when she first sat down has melted into a frown of terror. Her performance feels life-like, in this writer’s opinion, drawing us into the terror she feels. In just four minutes, we too feel the shock and fear of our protagonist. Before we know it, we find ourselves at the edge of our seats.
Fans of horror will enjoy Who’s That at The Back of the Bus? (written and directed by Philip Hardy), and especially those who like a realistic protagonist. Though very short, the descent into terror feels slow and all-encompassing.
Run time: 4 Minutes
Susan Barham as Woman
Richard James-Neale as Man
Director/Writer: Philip Hardy
Producer: Syd Heather
Music: Freddie Nevison and Andrea Cremonini
Film Editing: Florence Beam
Watch Who’s That at The Back of The Bus? on the Film Maudit 2.0 website.
Images Courtesy of Film Maudit 2.0
About the Author: Jamal H. Goodwin Jr.
Grammar, prose style, fiction, nonfiction: Jamal does it all. When he's not jogging or reading Daredevil, he's writing stories with a focus on character and elegant language. He’s written reviews for Philadelphia Stories and has fiction published by Spillwords press. Check out a sample of his work at thefictionwriter.blog website.