★★★★ Directed by: Fred Cavender Written by: Fred Cavender and Lloyd Lewis Starring: Fred Cavender, Albert Cavender, Mark Chapman, Emil Karimov, Anne Sinagra Short Film Review by: Chris Olson
A short thriller to compete with, Fred Cavender's Trust Me is an absolute frenetic masterpiece that combines creative modern filmmaking with classic action cinema.
Told in the first-person using a pair of spectacles, Cavender plays the lead role of Norman, a man who is awoken from his blissful slumber one night by a team of goons who break into his house. Attempting to elude his pursuers using only his wits and a voice on the end of the phone (who seems to be clued in on the reason for Norman’s peril), our hero goes on the journey from hell trying to escape their clutches.
This is what short cinema should be. Thrilling, intelligently crafted, and attempting to create a new, pulse-racing experience for the audience. Trust Me does all this within 15 minutes and with what I'm guessing was a humble budget. Cavender made a ton of short films last year and this has to be one of the very best.
The plot, whilst simple, has enough enginuity and mystery to grip the audience by the shoulders, whilst the aesthetic is like having a defibrillator strapped to your torso on loop. There are certain sequences that are visually majestic. Such as the scene where Norman attempts to hide from the goons in his kitchen and garden. This was reminiscent of an immersive video game or intense virtual reality experience, an unforgettable moment for me. As was the insanely engrossing car journey Norman takes through the country lanes in the dead of night. Cavender's long take here serving as cinematic adrenaline.
The performances, whilst brief, are mostly efficient in supplying the viewer with enough momentum to stay glued. Albert Cavender as the helpful barman was particularly convincing. I found the dialogue of the phone conversation between Norman and his unknown rescuer the only weak point. It felt perfunctory at times rather than contributing to the wild and racing atmosphere that was being built by the other aspects of the filmmaking.
That being said this is an exceptional short film and a must-see for fans of action films, inventive cinema, and anyone looking for an early heart attack.
You can watch the entire short film for free below, as part of the UK Film Channel...