Written and Directed by Fred Cavender
Starring Bess Davies, Rob Lawrence, Jair Massiah, Heather Ancliff, Chris Assheton-Blair
Short Film Review by Chris Olson
In a world where the truth is an increasingly elusive concept, short thriller Something Crunchy, from writer/director Fred Cavender, is a topical and technically impressive piece. Focusing on the investigations of freelance journalist Robyn (Bess Davies), the story unravels like a classic crime caper but for the modern age.
Our protagonist is a tenacious writer for an online news outlet, hoping to capture a juicy story whilst maintaining some semblance of integrity - even though all those around her seem content to produce click-bait and anything viral. Her obsession with a recent hit-and-run story has seen numerous redrafts as Robyn attempts to get to the heart of the event whilst appeasing her editor by making it "Something Crunchy". With the aid of a police officer (Rob Lawrence), whom she has an unusual relationship with, Robyn may find this to be one hell of a narrative.
With excellent cinematography, editing and music, there is a technical craftsmanship in Cavender's movie that competes with the best short thrillers. It felt slickly put together and engaged in some impressive sequences that will keep audiences gripped, whilst never risking the cohesive atmosphere which is suspenseful and intriguing. Scenes of Robyn writing are somehow made cinematic, whilst the frenetic journey she goes on during her discoveries is equally as compelling.
Where Something Crunchy falls down slightly is in the dialogue and performances. Ensemble scenes are clunky and sometimes wooden, bordering on hackneyed, especially during the gathering of the journalists where they talk in bygone cliches. The cynicism of the characters and their "Like and Share" attitude towards their craft felt hollow and unbelievable. With a little more focus on adding some depth and detail to the characters, it could have gone a long way to enrich the story. That being said, the best moments of the film are where Bess Davies is on her own contemplating the case and how she will represent it. As she pieces the story together we become even more engaged with the outcome.
The themes of a film are often the cornerstones of the storytelling, and in Cavender's story there is plenty to chew on. Furthermore, by wrapping this up in a thriller setting, there is an urgency throughout which is effective in making these themes feel bolder, more impactful. With a captivating aesthetic and tone there is a huge amount to enjoy about this short.
Watch Something Crunchy on the UK Film Channel below...