There are typically two camps of people who emerge from their higher education experience – those who felt they were the best years of their lives, and those who slogged through in misery, carrying with them a hefty load of debt and mental health issues along with their newly minted degree. Cram takes a look at the typical woes of college life, and puts a terrifying spin on nearly every fear students have during their four-year stint.
Directed by Abie Sidell, it stars John DiMino as Marc, a slacker student who has managed to limp along by copying friends’ papers and finding every shortcut he can. Determined to save his grade, he makes the decision to spend all night in the library studying and working on his final paper. We see a brief scene where he’s seated with friends Alice (Carolina Do) and Gonzalo (Conrado Falco III), who chastise him for his poor work ethic and refuse to help him, letting him know he has to do this by himself.
Once they leave and Marc is the sole person left in the dimly lit library, his struggles to focus and find motivation surface right away. Though he makes attempts to produce something worthwhile, his lack of attention and anxiety take over, leaving him a stressed-out, exhausted husk. It can’t get much worse for him – or so he believes. Once delirium and desperation begin to set in, a new set of horrors threaten not only his state of mind, but also his life, as the night unfolds.
Cram isn’t a very long film, with a runtime of only 44 minutes, but it manages to, well, cram, a substantial amount of substance within that time. Sidell utilizes every frame to push the story forward, especially once the creepiness kicks in. It impressively uses lighting and practical effects to play on the viewer’s emotions. Certain scenes feel overly dark and claustrophobic, but with the setting and plot, that plays to its advantage. It works best when it depends on these elements, playing on the emotions of both Marc and the audience as we strain to see what lurks in the dark corridors and shadows.
While it does veer off into the strange and gory territory in ways that don’t add much to the story, the segments are brief, and it course corrects to deliver legitimate fright. DiMino gives a convincing performance of someone who is tormented with mental health breakdowns and paranoia, effectively playing on the sympathy of the audience.
While Cram starts off simply enough, it swiftly delves much deeper into a well-crafted examination of the burdens of college life, and the long and short term effects it can have on someone.
8 out of 10
|Directed By:||Abie Sidell|
The post CRAM–A Study On The Terrors Of Academia appeared first on HorrorBuzz.