Directed by: Matthew Mahler
Starring: Timothy J. Cox, Cameron Rankin, Tiffany Browne-Tavarez
Dark Romance is a short suspense/horror drama written by Matthew Mahler and Ross Mahler and directed by Matthew Mahler. The story is based in an office and follows Tim Cooper (Timothy J. Cox) a good natured advertising executive who is well liked by his colleagues. Tim works with Cam (Cameron Rankin) a young ambitious ad exec and they share a seemingly sweet secretary named Tiffany (Tiffany Browne-Tavarez) who obviously really likes Tim. One day Tim receives a card from a secret mysterious admirer which sparks Tim and Cam’s curiosity as to who could have sent it, they laugh over it and it’s soon forgotten. However, the next day Tim receives flowers from the mystery admirer with a note which refers to Tim as Romeo and contains a snippet of prose from Shakespeare. This immediately sparks off Tim and Cam’s interests again as they light heartedly try to figure out who this secret admirer could be.
The situation however turns decidedly dark when the next afternoon Cam notices a package for Tim stuck in the office door. When Tim opens the package he is horrified to find a severed finger. Tim, looking obviously shaken up by this, is comforted by Cam and Tiffany and before leaving the office Cam tells Tim to forget about the psycho and move on. Unable to forget about the dark turn of events, Tim remains in the office later than usual and is comforted by Tiffany who gives him a drink of coffee before she leaves. As Tim drinks his coffee it soon becomes clear that it has been drugged and we see Tiffany revealing her true nature and her horrific plan with a Shakespearian twist and a wonderful black humor ending.
All three actors give strong performances with Cox leading the way as the gentle natured office worker who has become the obsession of his twisted secretary. Sadly, there are no major twists and it totally lacks in suspense as pretty much immediately the audience can sense who the secret admirer is and even guess what the final outcome will be, but there is nice touch of black humor right at the end which totally lifts the whole film up and makes it worth a look.
Verdict: The story is less suspense or horror and more dark drama with a hint of black humor.