Stop Making This Hurt
Dec 13, 2022
Joe Swift, Beth Collins, Alexander Jeremy, Elisha Mistretta
A man meets his former partner in a restaurant and they discuss the past.
A man (Swift) is sitting at a restaurant table by himself. Closing time is approaching and the place is quiet and a bit darkened. Eventually, he is joined by a woman (Collins), with whom he used to have a relationship. The two of them have a conversation and it becomes apparent that things between them ended up badly. The man attempts to apologise and make things better, however, it becomes evident that he did something terrible.
This dark short film begins as a drama about a broken relationship and as the story progresses and more and more clues are brought to light, things move towards thriller territory. The main element is the conversation between the two protagonists, which tells a lot about their lives, particularly about the man's life, about what kind of person he is and the findings are not positive and just keep getting worse and worse.
Swift delivers a chilling performance as an individual who has very dark secrets and a very sinister hidden personality. Although, he can appear charming and cheerful, it is obvious that ultimately, he is a bad person. Collins does a terrific job as a his ex-partner who was a victim to his actions and knows what he really is.
The film is free from music, apart from the ending, which is where Duncan Pittock and Richard Lacy make their contribution with a sinister score that makes an effective closing. Ben Mann also deserves commendations for the work on the cinematography.
This short has a very-well-structured screenplay that starts with more or less normality and revelation after revelation lead to a devastating truth. Through well-written dialogue and strong acting, this film tells a dark and memorable story.