IMAGINE A WORLD **** Canada 2019 Dir: Joanna Tsanis. 15 mins
We’ve all been stuck with some variation of that annoyingly persistent dead-eyed internet salesman (here portrayed with horrible conviction by Rob Notman), one of the interchangeably awful white men clad in white shirt and red tie, promising speeds of 500mb a second and falling back on corny, ultimately unrealistic lines like “Imagine a world…with no waiting.” Writer-director Joanna Tsanis has made a piquant, suitably uncomfortable horror film about these everyday monsters – and one where the twist makes logical sense for anyone who has ever been hard-sold a plan of this nature.
Siblings Tevin Wolfe and Gina O James are in their parents’ house when they get solid gold affirmation of why you should never let one such white-guy-with-a-clipboard in past the front door. Notman’s character gets ever more unstable as they resist the hard sell (“If you think you can threaten me into a modem upgrade, then you are dumber than that haircut”), and the ingenious script amusingly contrasts the credible dynamic between the laidback Wolfe and the feisty James while cleverly accruing suspense beats from the most unlikely elements : the home’s notoriously shite cell phone service becomes a key source of tension. The script gets laughs from dramatic lines about unexciting things (“Oh my God, is that our modem?!”) and pulls off a great gore moment when the big reveal happens.
Review by Steven west