Stalking The Bogeyman asks for nine minutes of your time and faces you with a difficult conundrum. This ‘what would you do?’ scenario isn’t just tense to experience but also infuriating to witness, as its main character is forced to relive all that has haunted him throughout the years and make a decision that could alter the course of his life. This is the story of sexual abuse survivor and investigative journalist David Holthouse, who confronts his abuser in broad daylight with a daring plan. The film has garnered several awards, including a selection for the prestigious HollyShorts Film Festival.
Markus Potter’s film is an exercise in minimalistic, effective filmmaking. Kadri Koop’s framing is tight, yet uncomplicated. The scenery is washed out, leaving room for only the two characters to exist within it. It’s made very clear what David’s (Santino Fontana’s) intentions are from the very start. With revenge on his mind, he takes to the streets to meet the man (Thomas Sadoski) who caused him so much pain at the age of seven. Potter’s screenplay is very respectful towards the real-life source material, filling in some explicit details with some stellar hand-drawn animation. The conversation between the pair is tense, with Fontana and Sadoski both wide-eyed, their faces plastered with a complex range of emotions. All the while, the audience is left wondering if and when David will carry out his plan.
The short is made even more impactful as the end nears, with real-life courthouse footage playing out with the real David Holthouse present and an epilogue as empowering as it is sickening. There are multiple silver linings to be found in Stalking The Bogeyman, and they come to fruition as the credits roll. Not an easy watch, but a worthwhile one for sure!