This short thriller plays upon our imaginations and fears of being alone in places that are normally brimming with people.
The best short films have a few key things in common: concise storytelling, great performances, an original concept, and stunning visuals.
That’s what you get with ‘Grounded’, the new short horror film, shot in a plane at Avalon Airport.
Directed by Melbourne and Sydney based Jesse Richards and written and produced by lead actor Josephine Croft, this short thriller plays upon our imaginations and fears of being alone in places that are normally brimming with people.
Filmed on location at Avalon airport in a decommissioned aeroplane, the film centres around a woman (Croft) who wakes to find herself trapped on the aircraft, entirely alone.
The doors are locked, it’s dark, there’s no food or water – and it’s cold. She then hears footsteps. Something unseen is hunting her. Suddenly, her plight becomes not only to escape but to survive.
The key takeaways
- Grounded is the new short horror film from Jesse Richards and Josephine Croft
- The film was shot on location at Avalon airport in a decommissioned aeroplane
- Nominated for 5 awards, yet to have premiere festival screening
With over 25 years acting experience and now being able to produce her own film with the anxiety-inducing Grounded, Croft says the story is inspired by an incident where a woman in America fell asleep on a plane and ended up trapped on the plane.
“The idea came from a news article my husband sent me. He’s fairly obsessed with any disaster-related stories, (I’m pretty sure we’ve watched all the episodes of Aircrash Investigation). In the article, a woman in the USA airline fell asleep on a plane and was accidentally left there after they dis- embarked.
“I thought it would make a good short film and spit-balled the idea of some sort of monster being stuck on board with her. I wrote the short film in an afternoon and put it aside, not really knowing if I was going to do anything with it. Eventually, I sent it to Jesse and he loved it. The rest is history.”
Having come up with the idea for the film prior to the pandemic, the subsequent lockdowns across Victoria hindered the film’s original production timeline, with filming only finishing earlier this year.
Shooting over two days, the backbone of this film hinged on the eerie location at the apocalyptic Avalon Airport. Croft admits securing the film’s location was one of the hardest elements of the entire process, but after coming across Avalon Airport, it was quickly realised this was the only place in Victoria that had exactly what they needed.
“This was one of the hardest elements of the process and the most expensive. I looked everywhere,” she says.
“I even thought about turning the location into a train, but it just didn’t have the same effect, I knew we had to do it on a plane.
“Avalon was our best option and ended up being the perfect place. They really looked after us budget wise and helped us out in so many ways. Plus, because it’s such an old plane, it already had that creepy feel to it. I went upstairs at one point during filming to warm up and do some acting exercises and there were so many strange noises going on up there I freaked myself out! That’s the perfect type of place to film a horror!”
A film centred around being alone and trapped in a place normally brimming with people, Grounded is a film that most Victorians can relate to as they’re reminded of the anxiety, the all-consuming drudgery, and uncertainty that lockdowns evoke.
“I think after Covid and lockdown this feeling will resonate with people a lot. There were many times during lockdown that I would walk down the street or go to the shopping centre and it was like an apocalyptic zombie film, everything was eerily quiet.
“There’s nothing like the deafening silence of a place that is normally bustling with people.”
It well known that anxiety is fuelled by irrational, worst case scenario thoughts, and confined spaces are breeding grounds for this process, which makes the location of an abandoned aeroplane incredibly ominous, making Grounded one nerve-shredding horror film to watch – no matter how short.
“Besides air crew and pilots, who’s ever been on a plane completely alone? I’d venture to say most of the population haven’t. Even when a plane lands, people are desperate to get off before the plane has parked.”
The film has already achieved a range of impressive accolades, including nominations at European Cinematography Awards for Best Short Film, New York Cinematography Awards, New York International Film Awards for best original score, and at the AFIN – International Film Festival for best Aussie actress and best visual effects.
Very quickly earning a reputation as a short modern-day horror classic; ‘Grounded’ is an exciting, terrifying and masterful film that will have viewers at the edge of their seats.
Check out the trailer below.
For more info, visit the website.