BREAK IN BREAK OUT **** Canada 2019 Dir: Michael Driscoll. 8 mins
This latest short from the clearly talented Michael Driscoll (BE RIGHT BACK, TWO BLACK COFFEES, TO THE BOATS) is a sardonic, frenetic, technically superb take on the now-overdone home invasion scenario for jaded 21st century audiences. There are shades of DON’T BREATHE and some of the zesty old-school exploitation spirit of recent features like Joe Begos’ VFW. Energised by Lee Wilton’s marvellous synth score and a game cast, it’s another cracking calling card for the filmmaker.
The story is framed TV news broadcasts containing the only dialogue in the film; the narrative is too busy for mere conversation or even 80s style kiss off lines. Roomies Robert Morse and James Rejent are lounging around watching TV when an opportunist burglar (Nick Smyth) breaks into their Toronto home. So far, so familiar…but at the point where Athena Karkanis (a regular on TV’s ZOO and THE EXPANSE) shows up, everything kicks up a notch as grim secrets are revealed and the gory action slips into first gear. Bowing out on an appropriately ironic end note and incorporating a uniquely disarming screen kiss, this is huge fun.
Review by Steven West