Short Review – Aftershock

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Short Review - Aftershock

A gentleman arrives home from a trip out and about. Where he went? I don’t know. What he did? Who cares?

He looks upset. No, that’s not right. He’s in shock. Shock. Getting out of the his car he stares at his car in disbelief. What could he have done? Done with his car?

He goes inside where his sister (I’m assuming one of them is divorced, which would explain why two grown siblings are living together) is waiting for him to give her a lift out. But he can’t. He can’t go back to the car. He’s in shock.

Wrangling from her brother why he’s in shock he reveals that he’s just mowed down a child. Shock!

Bit like when Lili Tomlin ran into a child in Short Cuts, but this is way more shocking. And there’s a twist at the end that I won’t spoil I’ve already been a bit of dick reviewing Aftershock anyway.

The trick with a memorable short film is a simple, punchy premise that sticks in the memory through sheer concept or distinguished visuals. While has a nice little idea “what would you did a hit-and-run on someone?” it is undersold through poor acting and little dialogue. Director Trevor Smith – who produces under the name Bigg T, I was hoping it was Busta Rhymes, his name’s Trevor Smith – concentrates mainly on the cinematography, which is suitably bleak, and the editing which is punchy and unnerving.

The main issue comes down to the script and his two leads. The dialogue tries to sound naturalistic but comes across as improv performed by two high school students. When the brother relays his horrible ordeal it has all the impact of someone telling you that a mosquito just hit the windscreen and it won’t wipe off. Sorry to the two actors who are clearly doing their best but maybe actors that actually cost money to hire would have brought some slight tension from the script. Half of the film is taken up with the brother character stumbling around the car and driveway in Aftershock, the other half is his half hearted confessional. At ten minutes long it feels as though a longer running time may have wrung some more horror from the situation. Perhaps with better actors.

As it is Aftershock is ten minutes that you will likely forget pretty quickly. The twist I mentioned will also bring up more questions that you weren’t that bothered about finding the answers too. It would set things up nicely for a sequel though. It would probably need to be a knockabout crime caper. Now that would be fun.

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