BOO **** USA 2019 Dir: Rakefet Abergel. 15 mins
Writer-director-actor Rakefet Abergel fulfils the promise of JAX IN LOVE with what initially appears to be a bold attempt to deal with issues of addiction in the context of a fairly standard psycho thriller. Ultimately, a left-field twist and accompanying major tonal shift take it down altogether more fun avenues. Abergel herself is terrific as a woman celebrating seven years of sobriety on a night out with friends – an evening of fun thwarted by the intervention of a violent male stranger who threatens her life and tempts her with booze. Unfolding partly in flashback, this good-looking, well-paced short offers an empathetic central character and pays off with a witty subversion of expectation. The punchline is well-delivered and showcases fine make-up effects – while leaving you wanting to see more of the protagonist’s battle to contain something potentially (and literally) all-consuming.
Review by Steven West