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The horror short “Ends Meat” is a dark tale about a troubled taxi driver, driven to do very bad things, that takes viewers on a highly enjoyable ride.

I was contacted by UK filmmaker Helen Lyons-Curran to review her new 30-minute horror short entitled ENDS MEAT in advance of its launch on the festival circuit.  I’m a sucker for a great short horror film and always very interested in supporting women working in the genre.

However, what really intrigued me was the well-executed trailer and the interesting logline:

Desperate to do right by his children, a debt-ridden taxi driver has just one night left to deliver on a lucrative, yet sinister promise.

 The short begins with a beautifully shot and chilling cold open. Obscured mostly by darkness, a creepy red light illuminates a disturbing scene. Several people appeared to be tied up in a dark basement, with their arms and legs bound and bags covering their heads.

It’s an ominous start that foreshadows events to come.

After this rather effective introduction, we travel back in time a few hours to an earlier part of the night. It’s here we meet Pete, a stressed out taxi driver and father of two young children. He makes a phone call to his loyal and incredibly patient babysitter, Tasha, letting her know he will be late yet again and forcing her to cancel plans with her boyfriend.

It quickly becomes clear from their conversation that he has long taken advantage of her kindness, consistently working late and failing to pay her for her services. He’s even neglected to leave pizza money to feed the kids. Tasha reminds him of his very large and growing tab — and the fact that he hasn’t paid her in weeks. He promises she won’t have to wait much longer.

A disturbing text appears on his phone: “You owe me.”

Agitated, Pete begins to troll for customers. But we get the feeling something is off.  Clearly, Pete has gotten himself into quite a mess — and the stress is taking a toll.

ENDS MEAT has a great neo-noir vibe, as the mystery unfolds as to exactly what this obviously desperate man has gotten himself into — and how he can hope to get himself out of it.

I’ll refrain from revealing more, so as not to spoil what happens next. But this well-acted and beautifully shot film kept me fully engrossed from beginning to the extremely satisfying ending.

While this was my first exposure to filmmaker Lyons, I did a little research into her background. She’s an award-winning writer and director who has already enjoyed great success with her previous macabre WWII short, Delicacy (2014).

Lyons definitely appears to be one to watch in the world of indie filmmaking, and I encourage you to seek out ENDS MEAT at a festival near you whenever possible.

You can learn more about the film, including screening information as it becomes available, at http://endsmeatfilm.com/index.html. You can also follow the film on Facebook for the latest news and information.

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