There’s something delightfully still and old fashioned about writer/director Rubin Stein’s Tin & Tina. So still in fact that it’s composed entirely of one shot, with the only movement being pans up and down to emphasize the fore or background. Black and white colouration adds to the charmingly vintage feel, as does the restraint of the central performances of the two twisted children. Tin & Tina immediately brings to mind the very reserved and unnervingly calm nature of iconic ghostie The Innocents, a film so restrained that when the camera does move you can practically hear and feel the air moving past your ears.
There’s also something very Village of the Damned about it, or more recently, Let the Right One In. Either way, these are very good feelings to evoke, and Tin & Tina similarly hangs its plot around quiet little children whose cherubic exterior conceals a devilish interior. It also takes its narrative queue from movies like that, presenting a very simple, but very crucial misunderstanding of the world from a childlike perspective, demonstrating the horror it brings, but all the while allowing the audience to sympathise and understand the processes behind such thinking.
The film makes wonderful use of the classic ‘show don’t tell’ idea, keeping all the gruesome killing and gore hidden behind a sofa. The foley work is wonderful, and the short makes great use of calling upon classic horror imagery like raised hands brandishing large kitchen knives and scary masks not only as a nod to classic horrors of later eras, but also to embellish its own story. It’s when you consider that three characters have lived a normal life together, one of them has been murdered and then mutilated and operated upon by the other two, in only one room in one static shot, you realise how skilled this film is.
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