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Watch This: 'Deadly'

"Deadly tells the story of Boney, a working stiff in a dead-end job", says the official synopsis for Aiden McAteer's award-winning short. In this case, the concept of a "dead-end job" is given a whole new meaning, as Boney is a Grim Reaper. We meet him hanging around an old people's home carrying out his sombre work.  He ends up striking an unlikely friendship with one of the home's residents, a spirited old lady named Bridie, resulting in a story about "life, death and dancing!"

If the subject matter sounds a bit grim, the short itself quickly dispels any concern. If handled poorly, this could have easily come across as tasteless, but there's no danger of that here. With a quirky sense of humour and a lightness of touch, it avoids such pitfalls and creates a funny but genuinely moving story. The official description uses the term "bitter-sweet", which pretty much hits the nail on the head.

The film uses fantastic 2D animation, with a sketchy style that is well suited to the material. It's been produced digitally (using Flash)  but it would be easy to believe it had been traditional methods. Boney is an original, contemporary (and distinctively Irish) spin on the Grim Reaper, with his robe replaced with a hoodie. and a vacuum cleaner in place of a scythe. There are shades of Ghostbusters in there too. It's not easy to be able to convincingly create a relationship that the audience invests in at the best of times. Doing so in such a short amount of time, and with minimal dialogue, as Deadly does, is nothing short of remarkable. Fantastic stuff.

Deadly was written and directed by McAteer and produced by Kavaleer Productions. It has screened at more than 50 international film festivals around the world and won numerous awards both in Ireland and abroad. Check out the film for yourself, below.

For more details visit the film's website.

Deadly from Aidan McAteer on Vimeo.