This 2019 Sci-Fi short film from Cardiff based Watchers Productions is a fascinating glimpse into how a filmmaker can utilise limited resources to the best of their ability. Epimetheus decides to tell its rather simple story in a very rough and ready manner rather than being over-stylised and well-polished.
The short film cleverly opts for a vlog style approach, from Peter’s livestream which opens the short to the self-shot/phone camerawork later on. Just as one style of presentation starts to get old the film finds a visual way to keep the audience engaged. Each of these variations of presentation are all convincingly shot as well, the YouTube segment looks like a legitimate vlog and the part where Peter FaceTime’s Frankie does look (and sound) as if it was recorded on a phone.
This leads into another one of the film’s highlights which is the editing. The glitchy effects and subliminal imagery all benefit the unsettling tone very well and again, similar to the variety of shot uses, there are so many different ideas on show here that maintain a high level of intrigue in the viewer from start to finish.
The story isn’t anything mind-blowing, but it works brilliantly as a catalyst for some well written character drama and genuine suspense to take place. As a viewer you really feel for Peter due to the many things that go wrong for him and that is mainly due to the films assorted styles of presentation and solid writing.
My only issue with Epimetheus comes in the form of the acting. Hannah Celyn Griffiths, Matthew Doman and Bethan Leyshon all do fantastic jobs voice acting as the many people Peter talks to on his phone. They all sound very authentic to their parts and help drive the story forward. However, the weakest link when it comes to performances is actually Peter himself played by Lucas Eisele. During the more emotionally powerful moments of the film, such as the ending and his talk with Frankie, Lucas really shines and makes the most out of the emotion of the scene. That being said, there are other points throughout the film where he’s on his own and it’s these parts where I feel Lucas struggles. When the story calls for him to give it his all he brings his a-game to the table but unfortunately Lucas comes across a bit wooden during the quieter, in-between moments.
Epimetheus manages to rectify its simplistic story with a rather creative visual approach that is backed up by some inventive editing and a good cast.