Sep 28, 2022
Thomas C. Dunn
Caitlin Mehner, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Tara Westwood, Robert John Burke
A tense and dramatic thriller that addresses very serious issues.
It is night-time and Virginia (Mehner) and Ohio (Whitlock) break into the home of Heidi (Westwood), a senator, and her husband David (Burke). The intruders bring the couple downstairs and hold them at gunpoint, leaving their children asleep upstairs. It soon becomes clear that this is not a burglary. Virginia and Ohio have lost loved ones due to gun violence and they are accusing the senator of making irresponsible decisions regarding gun laws.
The plot of this powerful short film deals with problems that are of great magnitude in the United States, that being fatal gun shootings, and it points out two major events that this causes: gun murders at schools and mass shootings and it identifies them through the two intruders who lost their loved ones under circumstances that define these two occurrences (Virginia's son was shot by another boy while at school and Ohio's wife and daughter were gunned down in a mass shooting). The story also indicates that the cause of gun violence lies upon individuals who have the power to change laws as they can be inconsiderate and that can lead to gun laws being relaxed, resulting in more fatalities.
The narrative begins as a mystery, leaving the viewer to figure out what is going on. More and more clues are brought to light, eventually leading to the whole picture. As the plot revolves around a life-threatening situation, the atmosphere is distressing throughout and there is a constant feeling that things are not going to end well. There is a lot of threatening, a lot of fear, sadness, grief and anger. The feeling of loss is what motivated the break-in and it is arguably the strongest feeling here.
The acting is superb, with Mehner and Whitlock delivering fantastic performances as two broken individuals, who are torn apart by their devastating losses and are furious at the person whose actions they believe resulted in the death of their loved ones. Westwood and Burke are equally outstanding as a terrified couple, who desperately try to get themselves out of their situation by attempting to make amends.
This short is a memorable achievement because it deals with gun violence, vividly shows the pain that it causes and points out how it could be prevented. With the subjects that it explores, terrific acting and wonderful cinematography by Edd Lukas, this film deserves a great deal of praise and recognition.