Dark Whispers, Vol 1 is an Australian anthology of psychological horror shorts all directed by women. The collection of disparate tales is threaded together by a through-line in which Andrea Demetriades plays a woman who goes to pack up the home of her recently deceased mother and discovers a leather-bound book of short horror stories. As she reads each one, it is played out on screen.
The vignettes are a mix of quirky, eerie, ironic, sinister, cheeky, melancholy, with a varied cast including Asher Keddie, Anthony LaPaglia, Tosh Greenslade, Bree Desborough among others. The directors are Angie Black, Briony Kidd, Isabel Peppard, Janine Hewitt, Jub Clerc, Kaitlin Tinker, Katrina Irawati Graham, Lucy Gouldthorpe, Madeleine Purdy, Marion Pilowsky and Megan Riakos.
While the directing styles are different, there’s a cohesiveness across the whole that makes it all hang together nicely. Rather than opt for schlock genre cliches, the films all rely on classic, well-crafted story-telling.
Reviewed by Rita Bratovich