It's murder trying to break into the film scene nowadays. It seems like everyone knows at least one budding filmmaker, and they're all vying to get their feature projects under way.

One way to get noticed without breaking the bank is to start off by making short films. It worked for Sam Raimi, Fabrice Du Welz, Gaspar Noe, Brendan Muldowney, Jim Van Beber ... And they don't just need to be a showcase for what you can do. Anyone who thinks you can't produce something of real weight within the confines of a short film need only look to something like FIREWORKS or UN CHIEN ANDALOU for evidence to the contrary.

Which brings us to SOMEONE ELSE.

A young Scottish woman (Karen Bartke) visits a psychiatrist (Katherine McGinty) in a bid to overcome her fear of living alone.

As the pair discuss the woman's issues, we're privy to snippets of her life in her home. We first see her as she arrives through the front door and goes to place her house key on its hook - only to find another key misplaced there.

In her living room, the unnamed woman notices a photograph has been turned around on the fireplace and the remote handset for her stereo is not where she expected it to be.

She tells the shrink that she puts these strange occurrences down to "paranoia". The quack is inclined to agree, suggesting that people who live alone often suffer from such anxieties. She applies pretty much the same rationale to the woman's recurring dream of someone watching over her as she sleeps.

But, as we view more of her habitual home existence, we witness more and more that suggests the woman is not alone after all. As the psychiatrist's voice is heard over the final scenes, her reasoning is contradicted with a climax that reveals the true horror lurking within the house.

Writer-director Andrew Newall's SOMEONE ELSE is only 4 minutes in length. It is remarkable, then, that it succeeds in telling a satisfying story in a manner that is unforced and natural, free from unnecessary exposition and one that builds to a genuinely creepy finale. I see plenty of feature-length films that don't manage this much.

Attractively shot by Mark Boggis with an eye for off-kilter camera angles and compositions that hint towards the shadows in the corner of the screen, SOMEONE ELSE is attractive and intelligent. These benefits enable it to successfully achieve the spooky atmosphere it strives for.

Newall cites THE ORPHANAGE as one of his favourite contemporary films and the mood here is akin to that much more lavish film (you must bear in mind that Newall's film cost just �200.00 to make - most of which was spent on the hiring of the office space used in the psychiatrist scenes).

Bartke has a likeable persona and impressively builds a character worth caring for in what little screen time she has. Sharon Odsin completes the small cast in a key role that I don't wish to spoil here. But she will make your hairs stand on end. The only thing I didn't really take to was David Hepburn Watson's cliched score.

The theme of the film is 'becoming'; the message is 'trust your instincts'. The universal fear of being alone in the dark - or, indeed, simply being alone in this world - is the genius stroke that helps SOMEONE ELSE register with any viewer.

I'm keen to see what this small group of filmmakers do next (they also have the horror comedy short COOL BLUE under their belts) and hope they get more funds to provide a longer sample of their talents next.

But this is a good starting point and promises enjoyable frights to come.

By Stuart Willis

Directed by Andrew Newall