Directed by Luca Machnich | Reviewed by Adva Reichman
The Eve is anything but your regular Christmas story. What begins with a sweet boy who believe in Santa ends with a twist you’ll never see coming. Armed with beautiful cinematography and exquisite animation, this dark film offers a glum peak into one family’s twisted relationship.
In the short sci fi/ horror film we meet Simon, a sweet 8-year-old boy, who is disappointed with life. On the surface it seems like he has it all – loving parents, a beautiful home and lots of presents, but as we get to know him, we learn his smile is only for show. All the toys in the world cannot buy happiness. When Santa comes to visit, Simon feels like his lifelong dream is finally in reach. Unlike other children, Simon wishes Santa will take him away and let him live in his factory along with all the other kids who don’t seem to fit anywhere. Together they will build soldiers to protect them from evil adults and burn the toys to stay warm. In exchange he will hand over all the toys he’s received. Simon is in dire need to feel protected and safe. But from what?
Simon doesn’t explain why he feels the way he does, but he’s convinced something in his life is wrong. As the film progresses, we will find out just how right he is.
His parents are indeed hiding a big secret and fight over the right timing to come forward in the hopes Simon could forgive and love them. Will they tell him and live as one big happy family? Or will a greater truth come forward? The answer will reveal itself as the clock hits midnight.
Simon’s imagination blurs into reality and it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. The music, art and costumes create a magical dreary feel and compliment the terrific work done by director, Luca Machnich, and cinematographer, Giulio Pietromarchi. The film brings Simon’s thoughts to life with the use of animation, done by Envision Creations, forming a beautiful sad alternate reality that exposes the lies in his real life.
The performances and colors draw from old Christmas movies but add a sophisticated twist. Valerion Santosuosso, as Simon, delivers sweet sadness and contradicts the picture the talented Maurizio Rapotex and Mary Wall, as his parents, try to paint. Accompanied by the gifted Ulf Kusdas as Santa, the foursome presents a gut wrenching feeling that something is seriously off, but to know just how off it is, you’ll have to watch to find out.
The director, Luca Machnich Palmerini, studied film direction at the Los Angeles Film School and authored “Spaghetti Nightmares”, a book about Italian horror and thriller movies.
He drew his inspiration for this film from writer Robert Bloch, whose novel “Psycho” was filmed by Hitchcock; Dino Buzzati, a known Italian fantasy writer; and fantasy fiction writer, Henry James.
With such great attention to details, high production value and great imagination, The Eve delivers a one of a kind experience for the holidays.
Adva Reichman is an Israeli writer-director based in Los Angeles; her latest film, Something to Live For deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and was screened at prestigious festivals. While in Israel, she worked in the Israeli news and on documentaries that revolved around major terror attacks and kidnappings that took place in Israel during the 70’s and 80’s. She is a graduate of the TV & Film Production MFA program at USC School of Cinematic Arts.