Short of the Day: In ‘Dawn of the Deaf’ What You Can’t Hear Can’t Kill You

A novel horror film you simply must see.
By  · Published on June 26th, 2017

A novel horror film you simply must see.

Today’s selection for Short of the Day is legitimately one of the coolest, most novel and uniquely-tense shorts I’ve ever seen. It’s called Dawn of the Deaf and it’s an apocalyptic horror short made by writer-director Rob Savage (based on an original concept by Jed Shepherd) in league with the Deaf community of London. Check out the logline:

“When a strange sound wipes out the hearing population, a small group of Deaf people must band together to survive.”

In Savage’s film, what is considered by some to be a “disability” becomes the ultimate advantage. The director has employed Deaf actors who speak in sign language and this, teamed with a sparse soundtrack made up mostly of ambient sounds creates for those of us who can hear an eerie atmosphere of muted panic that makes you feel like an outsider in the very best possible way, like you’re missing some vital element that’s going to allow the terror to sneak up and bite you. Dawn of the Deaf runs for just shy of 12 minutes and I’m pretty sure I didn’t blink for every single second of that. Aside from his narrative prowess, Savage and Director of Photography Sam Heasman have real eyes for the cinematic, balancing intimate shots with more epic ones to bring the terror close to home, and VFX artist Steven Bray realizes the physical horror of the scenario in ways that make this fiction seem all too real.

Dawn of the Deaf has garnered tons of awards, it’s been selected by like a million film festivals including Sundance, Fantastic Fest, and the BFI London Film Festival, and in its first week online it was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere and racked up nearly half-a-million views. Savage’s aim is to turn the film into a full-length feature with an all-Deaf cast aimed at a mainstream horror audience. I for one am already in line with both fists clenching cash.

So here’s what you need to do: one, you need to watch Dawn of the Deaf, preferably with the lights off (my recommendation) and using headphones (director recommendation); two, you then need to retweet this post and tell everyone who follows you to watch Dawn of the Deaf; three, you need to watch Dawn of the Deaf again, because besides being cool, novel, and tense, it’s also a sincerely badass zombie flick that has the potential to be a history-making horror feature.

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