Directed and written by Rufus Chaffee
Starring Arianna Danae, Nathaniel Sylva, Bill Taylor and Logan Lopez
Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
Have you ever thought about murdering a rich relative and pocketing the cash? No? Well maybe you have never really been that poor, or psychotic, one of the two. The point is we all have that certain relative who really grinds our gears and in the case of this dramatic short, Uncle Max (Bill Taylor) is the embodiment of the annoying relative.
With a passion for cheese based snacks, alcoholic beverages and being insanely lazy, Uncle Max bosses his niece Sonya (Arianna Danae) about until she can take no more. She enlists the help of her lover Joe (Nathaniel Sylva) to help her kill him so that the two lovers can run away with all his cash and cheesy snacks...how romantic.
The Trouble with Uncle Max explores the fact that when it comes to murder nothing is that easy, and let’s faces facts, if it was, no one would want to be the rich relative in the family! Uncle Max continues his reign of annoyance by not dying as quickly as our star crossed lovers would have hoped, like a cockroach he survives many of their attempts before Joe must resort to getting their hands dirty.
But the film explores more than what we as people will do to get our hands on money, director Rufus Chaffee seems more interested in using this theme as a backdrop to explore what people will do for a pretty face.
Sonya portrays herself as the suffering niece, roping men into to playing the role of her knight in shining armour; this becomes even more apparent when we see her manipulate a fellow co-worker, Phill (or Fil as he so comically spells it on his employee name badge, we can see why Phill is still single), who clearly has a massive crush on her.
He too wants to protect and rescue her, and Sonya uses all her charms to make the men in her life do all her dirty work, even murder, cleaver girl.
Danae’s delivery of the character Sonya is believable as well as easy to watch, and that stands for the rest of the cast too, each perform their role in a manner which keeps the audience compelled and involved in the story line.
Chaffee crams an intense array of emotions into only 20 minutes, exploring abuse, romance, guilt, betrayal, and desire, all of which are executed with a slight comical edge making this short and dramatic but light hearted experience.