Directed by: #NeilCorbould
Written by: #NeilCorbould
There’s admittedly something in the human psyche that pulls us towards bloodthirsty individuals on screen. Although killers picking up naïve tourists is arguably far-fetched, we’re fascinated with their motives and their intricate plots to rid the world of anyone unfortunate to come across them.
Neil Corbould’s short film Sid is no different. Sara (Karolina Burek) and Tom (Mariusz Galilejczyk), are a young couple, deeply in love. They’re wandering about the countryside, their packs full of camping gear and their minds on the three months of exploring and opportunities before their new jobs start. Their attacker, Sid (Martin McLaughlin), is a smiling family man who drives a VW people carrier. His children, Katie (Lola McLaughlin) and Billy (Cole McLaughlin), read Wonder Woman comics in the backseat while Sid listens to classical music.
Sara and Tom break through the trail to an empty road. Suddenly, we are on the edge of our seats. It seems as though Sid will plough right into them, but he slows down by the hikers and asks them if they want to go to a place where he and his children stay. It has excellent spots for fishing, and it’s secluded, the hikers are told. They hesitate at first until they see that Sid has two children with him, and reason that they can’t be at risk. Stranger danger doesn’t quite apply here. Killers on screen tend to have two sides of their personality – the pleasant, innocent façade and the psychopathic killer trapped underneath. Unfortunately, in Sid, the two sides of his character are fractured and don’t connect together into a believable hidden monster. The man who offers to show Tom and Sara his secluded spot is the same one who gets disgracefully drunk and threatens his children, yet these two sides to his personality remain so separate, it seems as though Martin McLaughlin is playing two different roles. This lack of cohesion and nuance is frustrating. It doesn’t illuminate the viewer on any inside detail on this killer’s psyche, and all there is to learn is surface-level personality quirks.
Sid hinges on the believability and the draw of the eponymous main character, but his story follows the worn track of picking up tourists for some bloodthirsty terror. Sid does not have the same pull that fascinating killers of the same ilk do, like Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance as Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler. Sid might be a family man with a murderous secret, but his motives behind his trail of victims remain unconvincing and weak.