The Spadina House (Lol Victorian Superpowers)

 

Goddamn I can't stop laughing at this. And that probably makes you think I hate it, but in actuality it's something else, trust me. The Spadina House proved quite difficult to review because it's rather simple to blow its cover in a second (I actually did already, you just didn't notice), so I'm conflicted as to whether I should or should allow it to speak for itself. I just leaned towards ruining it further so sorry. I suggest you watch it in full below before I continue. If not it's your own damn fault.

 
 

Directed by Taso Alexander of Skin and Bones Film, The Spadina House was created in the museum known by the same name, and other monikers, and concerns a Victorian-era family with superpowers, but there is "a dark secret" to be found among them. This is developed throughout the film as each member of the family is introduced from the children to the parents, culminating with the father.

 
 

Alexander uses no dialog and instead builds the character development through close-ups and expositions of each of the family members' powers as the music by Lukas Guyader slowly builds to the culminating point where the hidden truth is revealed in all its power. The daughter levitates objects, the son creates fire, the wife duplicates herself, and the father...

 
 

...actually sucks and can barely do a simple finger trick you learned on the playground. It was impossible to discuss what is in essence a comedy without ruining its effect, which is the reason for suggesting you watch it first. Once you see how The Spadina House works it's easy to appreciate Alexander's sense of humor because of how quickly he develops it by relying on a play of classic themes and clever composition. Using Neo-Victorian and Steampunk sensibilities that are starting to annoy the piss out of me, he turns it into a mockery. The music builds, the powers increase, and poor daddy turns dramatically to the camera to reveal how he can make it almost appear as though he pulls off his own thumb, to the awkward "very good sir" reaction of the maid and the reassurance of his wife that "it's okay, not everyone has powers" when she gives a squeeze on his shoulder as a tear softens his cheek. The power of this short lies in its ability to create a sense of amusing pathos as you laugh at dad until you see his emotional state. A beautiful piece of the pathetic.

 

Taso Alexander Official Vimeo

Written by Stanley, Devourer of Souls

The Spadina House (2019)
Taso Alexander (director), Various Team members (production)
4.5 / 5