Francis is an interesting work from an interesting source. Based on a short story by writer/editor Dave Eggers and directed by Richard Hickey, Francis is the kind of story that we used to hear in the midst of summer nights spent camping under the light of a fire. It begins as the camera pans through a city cloaked in darkness, swooping down to peer through our invisible narrator’s window where he proceeds to reminisce about Quetico, a park where he used to go camping until “that fatal accident happened.”
The story transitions to the actual park as the narrator introduces us to Francis, a 17 year old girl who sneaks out to a nearby lake to stare at the stars in the stillness of night. Then, after the mood is set, heart-pumping fear strikes and every second creeps you out until the very twisted – yet incredibly well written – end.
It’s important to notice that the CGI images mix and blend wonderfully, making you never lose the visual rhythm of what you are seeing. It’s a gorgeous short with polished visuals and an atmosphere that ends up being as inviting as it is eerie and creepy, proof that animation can serve up suspense and scares as well as any flesh-and-blood movie can.