Friday, 18 March 2016
Writer: Nick Barrett
Producer: Stephen Callo
Cast: Johnny Vivash, Matthew Hebden, Elina Alminas
Year of release: 2016
Reviewed from: Online screener
This 16-minute short is a well-written, well-directed, well-acted slice of British horror and well worth your time. Theatre/radio actor Matthew Hebden is Patrick, a corporate arsehole with a smartphone and no time for anyone around him. Johnny Vivash (The Fallow Field, Kung Fu Flid) is Driscoll, a homeless man who follows Patrick into a smart coffee shop and engages him in conversation.
For most of the running time this is a two-hander, with director Nick Barrett doing a good job of keeping the conversation flowing and our attention paid. Patrick airily tries to dismiss Driscoll and even offers him money to go away. But Driscoll has a secret that he wants Patrick to know. About what’s really happening in the city. His is a They Live-style paranoid delusion which Patrick casually dismisses with a reference to Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
The two leads both give absolutely terrific performances. Vivash brings real depth to a character who could have just been a drunken bum. And Hebden travels a hugely impressive emotional pathways from irritation to exasperation to tolerance to scorn to confusion to understanding to acceptance to realisation to, well, terror. Elina Alminas, who had bit-parts in Jupiter Ascending, Ex Machina and the live action Disney Cinderella, provides solid support as the waitress.
MJS rating: A-