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Unexpected Short Film Review

★★★ Stars

Directed by: #ZayRodriguez

Written by: #ZayRodriguez

The three main characters of the film stand in a line, Jessica in a bright red top in the middle with Xavier in a black tank top on the left and Eric in a light blue shirt on the right. Behind them is a green leafed bush.

When Jessica (Yasiris Alvarado) is left alone with no explanation provided by her boyfriend Eric (Joseph-Febles) as to why he has moved on, she posts an advertisement to find a new roommate. Xavier (Matthew F. Rios) takes up this roommate position in Jessica’s household as she is completely unaware that the seemingly perfect stranger is not so perfect after all.

Unexpected presents a promising plot but is unfortunately quite weak in its writing. The ending really does hit its audience with shock as it isn’t a conclusion that was to be suspected at any point during the short film. However, because of the minimal detail of how the events unfolding are significant, it is difficult to suspect anything at all – ultimately leading to a shocking ending that still doesn’t have the impact that was hoped for. Having intertwined clues and a better build of suspense and tension could have brought the final conclusion crashing down with much more force. At some points, the music added did not fit the occurring events as well, slightly diminishing the tension one wishes for in a thriller plot like this. Nonetheless, audience members are brought to a satisfactory conclusion as they have been gripped through the short’s duration, ultimately due to the lack of specific scenes of anticipation and suspense. Out of one slightly weak element can arise a strong element in its wake!

A round of applause goes to Yasiris Alvarado as Jessica as she creates an impressive atmosphere with her character. Her acting in all situations seen within this short film appear authentic and truly intriguing as she flows naturally through each sequence. Alvarado stands out with incredible characterisation through reactions and expressions, drawing the audience close to her side and befriending the hearts of these viewers. I found pieces of myself within the somewhat relatable personality of this character and I’m sure many others would be able to grasp onto segments of themselves in her as well; putting further emphasis of how easily her onscreen presence can capture viewers. Linking with this, Alvarado’s acting abilities only enhance the relatability of her stance onscreen. Viewers become attached to Jessica very quickly because of her vulnerability that increases throughout the short.

A more subtle aspect that I was incredibly impressed by in this film was the special effects makeup seen on the actors as the plot begins to come to a fierce close. The artist, Johniek Wroten, shows clear talent through the detailed injuries across the bodies of Xavier and Jessica. The vivid colours of the newly punched bruises and freshly etched cuts finally give a spike in the tension that is so desired in the film’s ambience. It is amazing it see how much makeup can impact the immersion of one’s film watching experience.

Unexpected is an enjoyable short film for those who seek thrill through camera. Although it does have some downfalls, they do not diminish the unclouded dedication and hard work that has obviously been given by the cast and crew. Overall, it is a lot of fun, and the ending will knock you out of your seat.



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