- 5 min
Vincent is a 1982 short film that tells the story of Vincent Malloy, a young boy who's obsessed with the works of Vincent Price, a horror movie icon. Directed by Tim Burton, Vincent is a tribute to Price's career, as well as a reflection of Burton's own cinematic sensibilities. The film is a blend of live action and stop-motion animation, and it features Price narrating the story, adding his signature brand of macabre humor.
The film opens with a shot of a suburban house, as the narrator (Price) introduces us to Vincent Malloy, a seven-year-old boy who dreams of being Vincent Price. We see Vincent watching Price's movies on television, and we hear his thoughts in voiceover, expressing his desire to be like his idol. Vincent is a lonely kid who's misunderstood by his parents and classmates, and who spends his time reading Edgar Allan Poe and other Gothic writers. In his fantasies, he envisions himself as a mad scientist, a vampire, and an undead creature stalking through a graveyard.
As the film progresses, we see Vincent's imaginary world come to life through colorful and highly stylized stop-motion animation. The scenes are full of visual references to the horror genre, from the designs of the characters to the composition of the shots. The film pays homage to Price's films as well as other classic horror movies, such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu. The animation is impressive for its time, with detailed sets and fluid movements that enhance the surreal atmosphere of the story.
The film doesn't have a traditional plot, but instead is a character study of Vincent's psyche. We see how he perceives the world around him and how he copes with his loneliness and isolation. Vincent's imagination is his refuge, a place where he can be himself and escape the mundane reality of his life. However, his fantasies also reveal his darker side, his fascination with death and destruction. In one scene, he creates a monster out of his dog, and in another, he summons the spirits of the dead to rise from their graves.
Price's narration adds a layer of irony to the story, as he delivers his lines with a deadpan delivery that juxtaposes with the surreal visuals. His voice is instantly recognizable, and he infuses the story with his trademark wit and eloquence. Price gives a performance that's both playful and menacing, conveying the duality of Vincent's personality. He's a mentor and a tormentor to the young boy, encouraging him to follow his dreams and to embrace his darkness.
Vincent is a film that's full of charm and personality, a showcase of Burton's unique vision and Price's enduring legacy. It's a poignant tale of a child's imagination, and how it can be both a source of strength and a source of madness. The film shows us that horror can be fun, that it can be a way to confront our fears and anxieties. Vincent Malloy may be a fictional character, but he represents the inner child in all of us, the one who yearns for a world that's more exciting and magical than the one we inhabit. In the end, Vincent is a celebration of creativity and individuality, a story that reminds us that we can be whoever we want to be, as long as we believe in ourselves.