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Bad Habits

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Nov 21, 2023

Film Reviews
Bad Habits
Directed by:
Jacob Dudman
Written by:
Naail Ishaq, Jacob Dudman
Naail Ishaq, Dan Prendergast, Jacob Dudman

A nasty situation turns awkward due to concerns regarding health.


Some poor guy (Prendergast) has found himself in a rather unpleasant state: he has been kidnapped by two ruthless criminals. He has been brought to an unknown, darkened room, tied to a chair and gagged and the culprits demand to know the location of a case, or they will hurt him. Following a lot of threatening, it looks like things are about to get very bad, until one captor lights a cigarette, much to the dissatisfaction of his accomplice.


This short crime comedy effectively and unexpectedly blends a life-and-death situation with a discussion about well-being. The film begins as a serious thriller, with ominous music and the feeling of dread in the air. Avery (Ishaq), one of the abductors, is the one doing most of the talking, explaining to the terrified captive that if he does not cooperate, he is doomed, while Blake (Dudman), his associate, stands further behind, mostly observing. Then, Blake starts smoking and Avery immediately expresses his disapproval, leading to the two of having an argument regarding smoking, with Blake stating that it is his right and his choice. The funny side here is that what is supposed to be a desperate situation turns into a meaningful discussion (sort of) about living a healthy life. This exposes the softer side of the two crooks, showing that they care for each other, which is nice and might make the viewer forget about the kidnapping scenario (for a while at the least). Cleverly, the sinister score stops when they start talking about smoking and returns when Avery turns his attention to the victim again, adding to the comedy.


Going to the technical side of things, there are well executed point-of-view shots and the lighting techniques are quite creative, which are supported by Maximillian Newcombe's cinematography. As mentioned above there is sinister music, which is a contribution by Jack Kane and the jazz score during the closing credits was a great choice.


This is a story about a kidnapping that does not go as anticipated. It is a good laugh and it explores themes regarding smoking, free will and caring for others and it could also be viewed as a statement against smoking. The performances are strong and amusing, there is a great plot twist that pushes the awkwardness of the situation even further and the way the film ends will most likely make the viewer grin.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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