Tag Archives: Jessie Paddock

Cabin Fever

Honeymoon at Cold Hollow

by Hope Madden

Nat Rovit has obviously seen a few American films of the 1970s. His award-winning horror short Honeymoon at Cold Hollow could not nail the aesthetic more precisely if it had been filmed in ’74 and held in a vault until this year.

Honeymooners David (Russ Russo) and Mary (Jessie Paddock) traverse the wintry Vermont mountainside en route to their romantic cabin getaway. Like so many genre film heroes taking their chances in an isolated cabin, they are warned. It seems there was recently some trouble with a married couple, the husband going mad and all…

Mary nods empathetically. David seems…uncomfortable. But on they drive, the perfect, wilting and crackling era-appropriate score accompanying them through the snow toward their little slice of heaven. Si Begg’s musical composition even follows the lovers through their pitch-perfect Seventies romance montage.

Rovit’s film turns from syrupy to sinister with an unexpectedly funny image. The filmmaker mines Seventies cinema for its frustrating logical lapses as well as its loose and gorgeous aesthetic. Kudos to cinematographer John de Menil – this is one of the most gorgeous short films you’ll see, whether external shots of endless winter or the eerie, almost glowing tunnel of snow.

Russo and especially Paddock mirror the performance style that suits the overall time period tone Rovit so expertly develops, and by the time their brief story reaches its conclusion, you’re reminded again just how strangely beautiful blood can be when it slaps against snow.