Where the Forest Meets the Field short film review

Updated: Jun 9

★★★★

Directed by: John Giorgio

Written by: John Giorgio

Starring: Erika Chase, Hanna Schwab, Sydney Silver, Tabitha Rowan

Film Review by: Jason Knight


Where the Forest Meets the Field is a short film directed, written and produced by John Giorgio. The plot focuses on a young girl named Anna (Erika Chase), who appears to be tormented by the suicide of a friend, Shelsea (Tabitha Rowan).


The film starts of as a mystery, showing close ups of disturbing drawings and part of a letter written by Shelsea. The film then cuts to a scene in a forest where two female children are having a picnic, while another person is seen in the distance, whose face is out of view. The film then cuts to Anna waking up suddenly, apparently after having a bad dream. A television news broadcast reveals that a girl has been found dead in the woods. Her father then goes to work and Anna has a brief argument with her mother. She then meets two female friends, one of which is called Sara (Sydney Silver), at a coffee shop, where it is revealed that the name of the deceased girl was Shelsea and that she hung herself. The film again cuts to images of the letter and a forest. Later the three girls are walking along a neighbourhood, when the two friends disrespect Shelsea, causing Anna to argue with them and walk away. In the next shot she is suddenly seen alone in the forest. Later Sara goes to visit Anna at her home, only to discover that she is not there. Instead she is greeted by Anna's mother and the two of them go to her bedroom, where they find disturbing drawings (the ones seen previously) and the letter from Shelsea (now revealed to be addressed to Anna), which appears to be a suicide note, due to abuse by Anna's father. The film cuts back to the picnic scene, showing the person in the distance to be Anna. She then commits suicide by hanging herself. Later on another news report reveals that Anna's father has been arrested for child abuse. The final scene shows Anna waking up suddenly, just as she did at the beginning of the film.


Where the Forest Meets the Field is a film that communicates information to the viewer primarily through images instead of dialogue. As mentioned above the narrative begins as a mystery with shots of disturbing drawings, the letter by Shelsea and the two girls having a picnic. As the story progresses, it reveals how all these are connected. The television news reports a girl found dead in the woods. Later in the coffee shop it is revealed by the girls that the deceased girl was Shelsea and that she hung herself. When Sara and Anna's mother find the drawings and the letter in her bedroom, as the letter was addressed to Anna, it is implied that the two were close friends, that Anna's father had done something bad, and that the drawings were done by Anna, also indicating that she was troubled and deeply moved by her friend's death. Then in the shot where the two children are seen again having a picnic, this time Anna's father is shown assisting the girls, and the camera pans up, revealing that Anna was the person in the distance. This is a key scene in the film because it indicates that the two girls are younger versions of Anna and Shelsea and that the father had abused them in the forest, and by having older Anna present there, this becomes a sequence that overlaps the past with the present, because in the end it is a memory of Anna's. The film then shows Anna taking her own life and the news report of her father been arrested. With the exception of the revelation that the dead girl's name was Shelsea, which is revealed verbally by the girls in the coffee shop, this film guides the viewers though the story with the use of visuals, making them pie the information together in order to make sense of the narrative.


The film's main protagonist is Anna, supporting characters are her mother and her friend Sara. The antagonist appears to be her father, who (by taking the contents of the letter into account) appears to have abused both Shelsea and Anna, resulting in Shelsea's suicide and reducing Ann to a sad state. There are two main plot points in the story: the first takes place in the coffee shop when Shelsea's name is revealed and as the girls disrespect her, Anna snaps at them, indicating that the two of them were close. The second plot point takes place in the bedroom, when the drawings and letter are found. The letter suggests that Anna and Shelsea were abused by the father and that Shelsea intended to take her own life by writing that she will meet Anna where the forest meets the field, as she hung herself in the woods. The disturbing drawings, which appear to portray sketches in the likes of a monster attacking a little girl and words repeating 'kill it', suggest that Anna was deeply traumatised and therefore decided to choose the same path as Shelsea.


Interestingly the final scene which shows Anna waking up could mean that is was all just a bad dream. As stated this is a film that relies mostly on images to tell the story and therefore with the final shot the audience seems to have the power to decide whether what they have just witnessed was reality or just a dream that Anna had.


In conclusion Where the Forest Meets the Field is filled with strong performances, a dramatic, powerful score and a cleverly written narrative and editing that provide the viewer with a pleasant, thoughtful experience.


#JasonKnight