Sunday, January 30, 2011

Worm (2010)

Fear 2/5
Gore 0/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 5/5

From the mind of writer/director Richard Powell, comes a short film involving a highly disturbed and (very much) psychotic school teacher who's grip on reality may very well be slipping away.

Our film starts off in the thick of things, a Mr. Geoffrey Oswold Dodd (played brilliantly by Robert Nolan) standing before his classroom full of what he feels are spoiled, slacker, going nowhere kids. After addressing the class, we are treated to his inner thoughts as he scans the room, laying judgement on just about everyone there. A choice moment occurs when he surmises 'Bradley, I bet if we parted that greasy mop of yours we'd find a whole bunch of scars left behind by your mom's coat hanger. Too bad she didn't finish the job. You would've been better off.'

His internal passing judgment continues as he watches and interacts with other teachers in their lounge. His pure hatred just seethes as we learn of his thoughts on each person. Combined with a feigned concern verbal exchange with a coworker who's family member is struggling with cancer, we get the feeling that Mr. Dodd has just lost all sort of feeling for humanity.

Our film nears its end with two contemplations by our troubled teacher. One, a female student he deems is worth a damn (that he is also a bit obssessed with), he plots an idea to kidnap her. The other, with hand firmly gripped on a gun in his briefcase, he pushes himself to the brink of taking down each kid in the classroom. Instead, he's thwarted as the end of the day bell rings.

The conclusion to our film is left open ended and it honestly left me a bit frustrated. I wanted to see what the teacher did next. What happens next? Did he completely lose it the next day?

Regardless, Worm is a nice slice of psychological horror. The dark humored dialogue is outstanding and the performance of Robert Nolan keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout its short run time. And I liked how the film leaves you wondering: are there some teachers this disenchanted and on the verge of going off?

For more information about Worm and to check out a brief clip from the film, check out the production company's website:

Cortez the Killer

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