SCRATCH is a beautiful and chilling short film by the Australian filmmaker, Andre “Dre” Muller. The short is a glimpse into a larger story that happens off screen, in our imagination. The actors bring the story to life, however, and Dre’s mastery in filmmaking gives it the infectious tone and energy that we have grown to love.
In SCRATCH Rick, an ambitious young journalist, is looking for answers about a serial killer on the loose. This is how he meets the charismatic Lola, wife of professor David Robins. Their meeting is laced with a twisted sexual attraction that keeps you glued to the screen. But what does it all mean?
Watch the film by Dre below. It’s excellent.
Emerging from a writing exercise between writer-producer James Cripps and myself, Scratch first surfaced as a single scene. After recognizing it’s potential, discussions ensued, elements were added, and a first draft was written. Still little more than a single scene, as a short film, the script proved very feasible and the story and characters had grown remarkably. For James, it was very much an ode to the darker noirs of studio Hollywood, but for me it became a very relevant comment on the naïve and impatient ambition of contemporary youth.
Our protagonist, a self-assured youth, ready to break out into the world, is the apotheosis of the ‘now generation’. Inexperience isn’t a problem for Rick, he lunges at the serial killer story but is caught off-guard by the professor’s young wife. Responding to her age and beauty, Rick soon succumbs to the trappings of youth, the all-too-human libidinous urges, losing sight of the story.
From the outset, Rick’s situation not only spoke to me on a thematic and moral level, but on a cinematic level as well. The conflicts of the story always felt confined so the physical space needed to mirror this claustrophobia, enhancing the mood and suspense. The majority of the film is shot in quite a small, single room. The end result is something visceral and confronting. It’s sexy, it’s dangerous, it’s surreal and it’s disturbing. It can be playful but it can also be very dark. The appeal to a young male filmmaker such as myself should be obvious and I hope this appeal translates to the audience.
Starring: Anna McGahan & Daniel Milne.
Director: Andre “Dre” Muller
Writer/Producer: James Cripps
Production Manager/1st AD: Adam Dostalek
Cinematographer: Sidat de Silva
Editor: Gemma Boyle
Production Designer: Andrea Oliva
Composer: Jonathan Bruno
Sound Designers: Gemma Boyle & Glen Rose
Additional Sound Design: John Hresc