Directed by: Avery Cohen
Starring: Chris Russo, Isabella Hartman, Saranda Krkuti, Seth Kaliroff and Scott Cohen Short Film Review by: Rachel Pullen
Who doesn’t love the calming sensation of running away from your problems, it solves nothing really but let’s face facts sometimes tackling things head on is lame, reality is lame and so wouldn’t it be nicer if we could all just live in our little warm bubbles of safety? I think that’s what Valium is all about but I’m not really into promoting pharmaceutical abuse.
Denial is not just a river in Egypt [yeah I just went there] but is also a well known coping method when dealing with the loss of a loved one. Sometimes we cannot face the truth, or we don’t want to, running for as long as we can from the things that tell us that person is no longer with us, and that is what Avery Cohen decides to explore in the short The Horizon.
The Horizon tells the story of Henry [played by Chris Russo], a young man who is going to great lengths to avoid going home, but he is not alone, joined by his female friend they drive the streets of their home town through the night, talking about the little things, creating a connection that seems deeper than its surface appearance, all the while never really addressing the problem at hand, that Henry is running from something.
We as an audience are blessed with the visual stimulation of Cohen’s directing skills, confidently taking simple locations and actions of his cast and filling them with rich colours and exceptional use of lighting, be it natural or manmade. All these effects allow for complete submission to the ideas and feelings that you are right there along for the ride, wasting your youth and time in the back of a friend’s car, it’s a memory we can all tap into.
The strengths of this short film are many, as I said it offers up a buffet of interesting camerawork and lighting choices, music is well timed and beneficial toward the scenes and as for the storyline, The Horizon tackles denial and grief from an interesting angle, giving this short its own confident style. Some of the weaker points would have to be the performances, despite being adequate you are very aware that you are watching an act, it’s hard to lose yourself entirely in their performances, but they are young, dealing with an emotionally driven script, it does not go without saying that they gave the roles their best efforts.
Overall this short is a well designed and fluid piece of cinema, with a storyline that engages well and the constant sense of atmosphere and emotional charge Cohen delivers up is an enjoyable watch for a diverse and wide audience.