Director: Rose McGowan
Cast: Tara Barr, Reiley McClendon, Hannah Marks, Michael Moskewicz, Julia Sanford, John Grady
Dawn proves two things –
1. Rose McGowan is a talented director.
2. You can make people happy, sad & horrified in about 15 minutes.
Dawn is the about the titular character in the late 50s / early 60’s and having her first date with a boy and the result of that. Of course no spoilers otherwise it robs the film of its power. The film captures the naivety of those wading into first time love. When Dawn catches the eye of the local boy working at the gas station, she is instantly infatuated and to her delight her feelings seem to be returned. Feeling your way through the first inklings of love/lust would have been even more difficult at this time as anything like that was looked upon by (most) parents as a sin, as Dawn’s mother says something to the effect of ‘I saw the way you were looking at him’ basically saying I know what you’re thinking. Dawn, being a sheltered teen just seems to be looking for something to take her away, to let her experience things which Dawn thinks would’ve never been possible. She sees this in Charlie…
The cast is all round amazing. None more so than Tara Barr who plays Dawn. She just has a certain way about her that makes you instantly connect with her and just want good things for her character. It’s a hell of a performance for Barr to make you feel this way in such a short space of time. The rest of the cast are terrific, Reiley McClendon is great as Charlie, fresh faced but with something lurking beneath the surface, so polite yet so menacing.
Dawn is a film that creates and holds tension for its entire run time, as a viewer you know something bad is coming but hoping like hell you’ll be wrong. Despite this you can’t help but be suckered in by the sweetness of the first section of the film which certainly gives the back end the sting that it does.
The thing I want most of all now is for Rose McGowan to direct a feature length film if this is anything to go by. A fantastic short film.
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