Apr 27, 2023
Jon Gutierrez, Ione Brown, Mo Naveed
A man helps a stranger carry her shopping to her home. He soon realises that he shouldn't had done that.
Steven (Gutierrez) is walking down a road, chatting with his friend over the phone. Suddenly, a woman (Brown) calls out to him, asking him to carry her shopping bags to her residence for her, as they are too heavy. Steven does so and once they are inside her property, she politely insists that he accepts a cup of tea. After a lot of persuading, especially from an intimidating man (Naveed), Steven reluctantly drinks the tea. The drink appears to have something harmful inside and he is now under the strange woman's control.
This is a spooky and sinister story that follows the do-not-talk-to-strangers concept. After a beginning that feels normal, with Steven cheerfully talking on his phone, things get weird with the appearance of a runner who is holding a package and behaves like a robot. Then the unlucky hero stumbles upon the woman, who initially seems friendly and harmless and it is when they are in her home that things begin to turn bad, with the level of dread rising and rising from there, reaching a highpoint when what the peculiar woman is up to. The feelings of hopelessness and fear are the strongest ones here, as Steven finds himself trapped in an extraordinary situation and unable to resist.
Interestingly, this short horror film appears to have been influenced by the 2017 psychological horror movie Get Out, as there are similarities between those two. Like the feature, there are people who are behaving oddly, like they are insane or under the influence of something. The plot also involves a man entering a new location, where something does not seem quite right and he becomes a prisoner, at the mercy of his captor. Furthermore, a cup of tea plays a significant role in both stories.
The characters are intriguing and Brown is the one who stands out the most as a deceiving woman who turns out to be a sort of witch, with all sorts of herbs in her kitchen. The big man who seems to live with her behaves awkwardly, much like the runner.
There are some point-of-view shots that are out of focus, effectively placing the viewer in Steven's situation. There are creative lighting techniques, some great sound effects and the ominous music by Fionn Lucas definitely contributes in developing a sinister atmosphere.
This is a story about an unfortunate guy being lured into a trap. The dread and suspense are what the audience will probably feel the most and once the film ends, they will most likely think twice before entering a stranger's home.