Directed by: #CarlMason
Everything that you could desire from a short film was present in Revival. Inspired partly by A Quiet Place, Krasinski’s incredibly moving 2018 #horror film, this was set in a post-apocalyptic world where music appears to be dangerous.
The plot follows a common trajectory; Survivor A (Alex) finds Survivor B (Jordan) and they realise that only by banding together can they hope to defeat the outside forces that are overwhelming them. However, this short film manages to keep the portrayal fresh and poignant.
A frequent use of facial close ups show us how the characters are feeling, and there is little need for dialogue when the humanity they bring out in each other is so visible in small expressions: the nod of a head, eyes wide looking far away into a distant past, and then meeting the other’s gaze, a slow smile.
The lighting scheme and colour palette is visually stunning. A melancholy vivid blue light is visually associated with the main character, a glow emanating from her tent in the night as she stares at the guitar she is too afraid to play, and surrounding her as she cautiously enters the shelter Jordan is hiding in. Colour contrast is used to full effect as the flickering orange fire, warm hues of the guitars and vibrant red clothing worn by Jordan stand out against the blue.
The chase scene in the woods is a technical masterpiece, as the camera keeps the main subject strongly in focus even in moments requiring a lot of movement, and maintains a cinematic depth of field. The tracking shots are steady, as the director uses a variety of angles to convey the frantic energy of the characters rather than a shaky camera. This adds to the professional feel of the film. The crew also doesn’t make the mistake of showing a monster they don’t have the budget to create visually, but instead cut away and back to flashback scenes at the appropriate moment when characters are being killed, or use sound effects to insinuate a threat is in the area.
The theme of sound and its importance to both characters is highlighted throughout the film by close ups on objects like guitars and iPods. The final scene where the two girls finally stop running and choose to overcome their fear of the monsters through making music is heart-warming. You can see the outside world melt away for them as they get wrapped up in the song; Jordan on the drums intense and focused, Alex on the guitar glancing up at her newfound friend and grinning. The end is ambiguous, but the upbeat song lingers in your mind afterwards, a reminder that listening to music and making art of our own can help all of us in defeating our non-apocalyptic fears.