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average rating is 3 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Mar 12, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Ewan Thomas
Written by:
Ewan Thomas, Harrison Tate
Paul Dewdney, Gabriel Okafor

An elderly man and a youngster are in the middle of a forest. Alone and trapped.


An old man (Dewdney) is in the isolated countryside. There is no building of any sort to be seen and he appears to be by himself. As he walks around collecting wood, he spots an unconscious young man (Okafor) lying on the ground. He is wearing a business suit and has a wound on his head. Eventually, he regains consciousness and demands to know what is going on. The aged man claims that he does not know what is happening and while the two of them spend time in the wilderness together, dramatic conversations regarding the values of life and humanity occur.


An obvious element that makes this short intriguing is the mystery. What is going on? Why are two people trapped in the woods, unable to leave? How did they end up there? As the youth makes a run for it, he discovers that no matter how far he travels, there is no sign of civilisation. The wildnerness seems to be endless. So where are they then? Are they in a supernatural world? And what about the elderly man? How long has he been in the woods, all by himself? At the beginning he is seen doing a hitchhike hand sign by a road and keeping some sort of record. Why is he doing these? Certainly, these are questions that the viewer would like to know the answers for.


In some ways, the film feels like a psychological survival horror story. Two people trapped in an isolated place where escape seems impossible. However, the deepest core is reveiled when the old man expresses his opinion regarding people. He believes that humans rely on objects in order to feel complete and that they are slaves to those who have authority. Generally, he suggests that without possessions, people are no different than animals. The youngster is a character that represents the contradiction to that belief: a businessman, a person who firmly believes in society, who owns a lot of things and wants more. The fact that these two men are now in nature seems to signify that they now have nothing apart from themselves and in certain ways have become animals, forced to live out of whatever nature has to offer and at the same time, they are free, away from society's complications.


The atmospheric and sinister score by Magnus Fielding is a big plus and Kimia Modaressi Chahrdehi and Thomas Wright do a good job with the editing, especially when utilising fast cutting. The lighting techniques also stand out, particularly during night-time, when the two protagonists are sitting next to a campfire and sound designer Ava Doyle also deserves commendations for the effective sound effects.


This is a tale of survival and isolation and it offers a rather negative point of view regarding humanity. The performances are strong and the old man makes an interesting character. Although the plot is successful in drawing attention, the viewer might be disappointed by the questions that remain unanswered.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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