A moth hurtles into a spider’s web and sticks fast, as it struggles with this unexpected predicament, the creeping legs of the spider tiptoe towards it’s prey. What follows is an intense struggle, an everyday occurrences blown up into an epic battle.

Seriously, that’s the entire five minutes of this computer animated film; a moth is trapped in a web, and a spider marks him for lunch. With this premise, Loom creates a spectacular narrative that is tense, dramatic and at times horrifying. The camera swirls around the protagonists, depicting their battle like a clash of Titans, the backlight flashing on, to illuminate them as immense monsters, and then back to darkness, where long legs dance in shadows. The film regularly changes speeds, the slow motion is crushing, the tension intoxicating, and then things move so quickly it’s difficult to tell moth from spider, as they beat against each other breathlessly. It’s almost romantic.

The spider is a horribly suffocating presence, throwing itself onto the moth and holding it tight, the camera zooming in so that we share the claustrophobia. Visually, the film is wonderfully inventive, not only with it’s editing, but also in the way it flits between realism and surrealist elements. The sound is also spectacular, in that it perfectly creates a mood of dread, fear, energy, and excitement.

Loom is a good example of how a staggeringly simple premise can make a great film. Too often filmmakers try to cram as many ideas into their story as possible, and it creates a bit of a mess. This is especially true of short films, either the narrative is needlessly convoluted, or saturated in ‘meaning’, or it falls into the Twilight Zone format of ending on a twist or a joke. Loom sidesteps this temptation and offers a story about a spider catching a moth, and it’s fantastic.


About Author

David Knight is, for all intents and purposes, a human. I mean, he must be right? He has all the essential features necessary, and certainly talks a good game. When he’s not writing words with his hands on a keyboard, he’s speaking words with his mouth on The Bunker podcast.

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