Starring Keegan Hedley, Mark Brombacher, Michael James Regan
Directed by Clint D’Souza
Released in 2017, Stories Untold was a suspenseful text-based horror video game which took place in the 1980s. I played it for the first time recently, and while I’m not a huge fan of text-based games, I still found it to be an enjoyable and creepy adventure with some truly haunting moments.
Filmmaker Clint D’Souza created a new short film called The House Abandon, which is based on the first chapter of the same name from Stories Untold. Released on the ALTER YouTube channel, the short stars Paw Patrol’s Keegan Hedley as Cody, a young boy who plays Stories Untold alone in his room, only for the events in the game to start happening in real life.
Hedley is clearly a talented young actor, and he completely sells the fear and terror experienced by Cody as the nightmarish events begin to unfold around him. Since Cody was the only character throughout the majority of the film, it would no doubt have been a challenge for Hedley to have carried the film on his shoulders. But he clearly gave his role everything he had, and The House Abandon is worth watching for his performance alone. This is one of Hedley’s most mature role to date, and one can only hope other mature roles come his way in the near future.
Because it was inspired by Stranger Things, Stories Untold was dripping with 1980s nostalgia. So naturally, The House Abandon also seems like a love letter to the glamorous decade. Although the whole film takes place in Cody’s room, we still get the impression of this being a world which the filmmakers look back on longingly. Not only was it shot and graded to resemble a film from the 1980s, but Cody’s room resembled a time capsule of 1980s teen nostalgia, and the soundtrack, while used minimally, was also strongly reminiscent of the music from many horror films of the era. As a side note, I also found it humorous how only the text-based sections from Stories Untold were shown on Cody’s computer screen, because the modern video game visuals shown throughout the other sections would obviously have been jarring against The House Abandon’s 1980s setting.
The ending of this short also contained a particularly nasty surprise, but we won’t go into spoilers. So you will just have to check out The House Abandon for yourself to learn what happens, and you will probably be wanting more by the time the credits roll. While it only runs for six minutes, The House Abandon was still a memorable short film which should appeal to both fans of Stories Untold and anyone with a passion of 1980s horror.
Fans of Stories Untold will be thrilled to see the game coming to life in The House Abandon, and Hedley’s strong performance also helps to make this a short film which demands your immediate attention.