Vancouver native Tristan Risk has gone on to become a huge favourite of many a horror hound over the years, with her having burst on to the scene with the Soskas’ American Mary back in 2012. Since then, Risk has gone on to become one of the most prolific names in the genre, with particular standout turns coming in the likes of ABCs of Death 2, House of Manson, Innsmouth, Harvest Lake, Frankenstein Created Bikers, Aliens Ate My Homework, and Elias’ stunning Ayla. And now, the charming Little Miss Risk is making her bow behind the camera with spooky short, Parlour Tricks.
Clocking in at just over seven minutes, Parlour Tricks centres on a trio looking to speak to their deceased dear Aunt Ethel. Helping them in all of this is Sean Coverton’s Aleistar; an almost Lurch-looking Master of Ceremonies who has the ability to connect Edward (Tyler James Nicol), Hazel (Shawna Mauchline) and Millie (Mandy Mauchline) to “the other side”. Are the threesome correct to be sceptical of this process, is Aleistar maybe a tad rusty, is all more sinister than it appears, or are the group simply barking up the wrong tree?
Let’s get down to the brass tacks of it: Parlour Tricks is an utter delight! Quirky, quaint, clever, and with an ever-present wink of mischief, this is the sort of short that leaves you longing for more. All four of the cast perfectly capture the style, charm, and humour of the tale, and their performances are similarly matched masterfully by some exquisite use of music and sound.
As for Risk herself, Parlour Tricks shows that she has a great eye for the small subtleties, and she manages to make the finished article feel gloriously over the top and animated, while still keeping things understated and minimalistic. It’s a true talent, and as first outings go, this is an unquestionable home run.
When Tristan returns to the directing chair, we’ll have to wait and see. But, much like as an on-screen and on-stage performer, she’s certainly got our attention – and we can’t wait to see what’s next!
PARLOUR TRICKS / CERT: N/A / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: TRISTAN RISK / STARRING: SEAN COVERNTON, TYLER JAMES NICOL, MANDY MAUCHLINE, SHAWNA MAUCHLINE, FRANCES / RELEASE DATE: TBC