PEEL ** Canada 2019 Dir: Jack Grundy. 4 mins
A man returns home from the grocery store and sits down to scroll through his phone. Suddenly, a glass bowl full of bananas falls off of his counter and onto the floor. He cuts himself picking up the glass and is appalled to find that something has crawled inside the wound and is making its way up his arm. He grabs a belt and a knife and proceeds to extract whatever has crawled into him from one of the bananas that has peeled itself open in the fall.
Peel is a confusing short film that ranks high in suspense but low in payoff. It’s not so much man vs. banana as it is man vs. whatever barely visible entity that has burrowed inside the banana. It reminds me of those photos you see online of people bringing home exotic bugs, arachnids, and reptiles that attach itself to fruit during transport and go undetected from farm to transportation to grocery store to home, playing on our true fear of creepy crawly animals entering our living space. There is no dialogue, only the crisp sounds of the incident inside the quiet apartment. The unnamed, silent protagonist feels more like a throwaway victim in a larger story rather than the hero.
Review by Laura Smith