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The Independent Critic: “Nicky” is a Haunting, Honest Short Film

It was hard to watch Nicky, a tremendous 32-minute short film from director Dom Portolla based upon a short story by the film’s lead Ken Flott. There are films that dance too closely to your own psyche’ and your own life experiences that to watch them is like ripping open the wounds from years’ past and picking away at the scabs.

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Film Threat review of Nicky

Review by Amy R. Handler Nothing is quite what it seems in Dom Portalla and Ken Flott’s newest Kafkaesque short film, Nicky—and that’s what makes us view it with one eye on the screen, and the other on the nearest exit. The abduction of his young brother, Nicky, causes an unnamed man (Ken Flott) to seek vigilante justice, years after the boy disappeared. It seems that Nicky vanished one day, right after his older brother’s wedding, and was never seen again. At least not in any tangible way, that is.

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From Midnight, With Love review of “Nicky”

I first encountered the work of Dom Portalla and Ken Flott, the men behind the short feature Nicky, in the fall of 2010.  Portalla had directed the ambitious low-budget thriller The Darkness Within (which came to me via longtime friend of FMWL Cortez the Killer over at the rockin’ Planet of Terror), which featured a key side performance by the attention grabbing Flott.  It was a good little film that piqued my interest in the folks at Door Eleven Productions, and that interest has thankfully led me to a pretty fantastic short film today.

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Rogue Cinema review of “Nicky”

Film Reviews: Nicky (2012) – By Cary Conley The mind is a wonderful creation, and imagination is one of its greatest gifts. But in some cases, the imagination can be torturous. In the case of Nicky, our unnamed protagonist (simply called The Narrator in the credits) has been tortured for many years by his own imagination. Saying goodbye to his baby brother, Nicky, on his wedding day, The Narrator had no idea it would be the last time he would ever see his little brother, for just a few months later Nicky was kidnapped and disappeared without a trace. Since that time, The Narrator has never given up looking for little Nicky, hoping to discover what happened and who was responsible for his death. He has been utterly consumed with his search, even through the course of two marriages, neither of which worked out. And now, with the help of[…]

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Brutal As Hell review of “Nicky”

As feature length movies grow increasingly longer, short films serve a purpose beyond themselves – and that is to remind the film-going world that a moving story can be told in a fraction of the time which many features feel they now need. This is the case with Nicky, the third film by director/writer Dom Portalla, whose own feature The Darkness Within was reviewed by Marc last year.  In common with The Darkness Within, Nicky focuses on the psychological rather than the visceral, but the story at its core is no less disturbing. The film explores the enormity of personal tragedy, and the fact that Nicky focuses on the impact which this tragedy has on an individual makes it far more harrowing than even the nastiest horror could hope to express.

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The Independent Critic – “The Darkness Within” a Solid Psychological Horror/Thriller

If there’s one thing we learn for sure from writer/director Dom Portalla’s suspense/thriller The Darkness Within, it’s that Portalla can write one heck of a suspenseful and involving story. While the film occasionally is hindered by spotty acting and those inevitable production issues that show up with micro-budgeted films, The Darkness Within is truly one of those rare indie suspense/thrillers that really works with an ending that is quite the stunner.

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Film Threat review of “The Darkness Within”

Dom Portalla’s award-winning “The Darkness Within” is a psychological-thriller that messes with the mind in that surreptitious way that shocker-addicts only dream about, but very rarely see in contemporary film. With an ending that will trip up even the most seasoned chiller-investigator, “Darkness” has a tightly constructed plot that seems cut from the same MacGuffin-ridden cloth as the one used by Hitchcock—and that’s quite a feat.

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From Midnight, With Love review of “The Darkness Within”

Like most independent horror films out there that are fighting for their chance, I had no knowledge of The Darkness Within until it showed up over at Planet of Terror – the place where independent horror films come to light.  Thanks to a giveaway on that site via the illustrious Cortez the Killer, a copy made its way to my doorstep and I sat down with the film by writer/director/editor Dom Portalla.

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