Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Remote (2009)

Fear 2/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 2/5

Remote is a short film I've heard about for awhile now as its made its way through the festival circuit, snatching up multiple awards along the way. What struck me the most about it, was the unique concept which is employed: a man who's recently moved into a new home finds that his TV connects him to another time but the same place -- the current abode he is renting only 30 years prior. Who does he see and meet on the other end? The previous tenant of the home curiously fixated on the same situation he's witnessing. Despite a couple of minor quibbles, the film is expertly crafted and it's incredibly intense.

As mentioned, the film centers around Matt, a man who's recently divorced and moved into a rental house. Returning home from work, and after a warning from his landlord about a severe storm ready to roll on through, he hunkers down for the night with beer, Chinese takeout and his work to keep him occupied.

Dozing off on the couch, he awakes to the sounds of his television on the fritz. Flipping through the channels, he comes upon a blonde woman who's also parked on the edge of her couch. After some brief and puzzled looking stares, Matt asks her what she's doing. They both go back and forth for a bit, thinking that maybe a signal was crossed or that maybe the other was somehow playing a trick or spying on them. But Matt soon realizes what he's looking at: the same exact living room.

He then begins to ask her more questions about her life and he shares with her a strange piece of mail he received that day. When the woman (whom we come to find out is named Justine), briefly leaves the room, Matt Googles her name and our mystery unravels further. As the film ends, it does so in shocking fashion with a clever twist you don't see coming.

I mentioned that I had a couple of minor quibbles and they are just that. Both Matt and Justine come to the realization that they must be looking at each other 30 years apart in the same house much too quickly. But I believe that has more to do with the format of the film itself. With shorts, you have to get to the heart of the matter fast. The other, was more of a logic gap. Matt doesn't ask Justine how to spell her name before he does an interwebs search for her. I know, it's small pickles, but I get tripped up on stuff like that sometimes.

Overall, Remote is a really intense and original short. I'd love to see this story get the feature length treatment.

Well whaddya know folks! After emailing filmmaker Marc Roussel, it's doing just that. Keep your eyeballs peeled for this one kiddos.

Cortez the Killer

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