We often imagine the Grim Reaper as this cloaked, hooded figure who carries a scythe and beckons you to the beyond - or maybe it’s Nicolas Cage. But what if the Grim Reaper was just a desk job?
Grim Film’s The Last 7 is a beautiful Malaysian horror short that centres around a Grim Reaper named Michael, a glorified desk jockey who orders coffee in the morning and delivers souls to the afterlife in the afternoon.
But in the meantime, he’s plagued by strange dreams of someone else’s life, involving a little girl with a terminal illness and her parents figuring out how to afford treatment.
Who is this mystery family, and why is Michael dreaming about them? The answer doesn’t come until the very end, and I won’t spoil what happens. But let’s just say it took me a few minutes to really digest because it has a lot of layers that I needed to unpack. In short: I was impressed.
The Last 7 was released earlier this year by Malaysian YouTuber Jared Lee, who wrote and directed the film himself even though he didn’t have a lot of experience—he never even attended film school. The short film went on to win some awards at the Vancouver Webfest, beating out entries from the U.S. and Canada and becoming the first Malaysian film to win at that competition.
Unfortunately, Lee was unable to accept the awards in person, as he’d been diagnosed with testicular cancer. He’s been open about his condition and recovery process on his YouTube.
You can check out more of Lee’s projects, including a new horror series profiling other directors, on Grim Film’s YouTube channel.