Chaperone will have audiences watching with utter terror in its opening moments. Though it never goes to the insidious places it initially teases, the Sundance Film Festival short film is still a dark one. The story is about a young man (Russel Kahn) who is picked up by an older gentlemen (Zachary Quinto). The two head to a secluded house where the arrangement is soon revealed.
Writer-director Sam Max keeps the tension high the entire time. From leaving both of the characters unnamed to the lonely setting, there is never a sense of safety. The film keeps the questions coming even as the plot unravels. At best, things seem “less dangerous”. Chaperone is a well written tale that will keep people guessing until the truth is finally revealed. At that point, fear is replaced with sadness.
Shark is a fun short that is a silly take on a classic fable. Jack (Nash Edgerton who also co-wrote and directed) loves playing pranks. It does not matter if he is at a dinner party with the relatives or an appointment at the dentist’s office. The only one who seems impervious to his schemes is the woman he loves Sofie (Rose Byrne). No matter what he tries, he cannot fool her.
The film is equivalent to listening to a joke. The set up is well done as it sets up the dynamics of the relationship. There are also many funny moments. Everything leads to the punchline. If Shark did not do such a good job of building to the moment, then it would fall flat. The strong writing and cast brings everything together perfectly in a scene that is will shock and cause laughter.
The Sundance Film Festival is online January 20- January 30. Tickets can be purchased and a full lineup can be found here.
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