Short of the Week

The Election

Three days before the gubernatorial election a candidate and his wife find themselves in the middle of the desert with a horrible dilemma.

Like much of the world, I’ve been sitting here, tense with anticipation at tonight’s U.S. election results. As a high-information voter with strong political views, it’s been a pretty unbearable wait so far, so I was happy to distract myself and do what I do best—hunt for short films online.

I can’t reasonably claim that my sleuthing skills were in much evidence with this find (typed “Election short film” into Google), but I am pretty pleased with what it turned up—a tense and provocative short from horror filmmaker Padraig Reynolds that has been neglected online for a over a year, far removed from its commendable festival run in 2008.

The moral dilemma at the heart of the film is probably a bit transparent, but, acted with gripping intensity by esteemed character actors Ray Wise (Twin Peaks) and Lin Shaye (There’s Something About Mary), the pacing and slow reveal is eminently enjoyable. The frequent closeups employed by Reynolds really allow the veteran performers to dig into the drama of their roles, and as jaded as I’ve been by this long, ugly campaign, it is a pleasure to see a politician do battle with his inherent scumminess.

With this film it is evident that Reynolds has a talent for character direction, a rarity in short film, so if you’re curious, check out his horror flick Rites of Spring, which received a limited theatrical release this past summer through IFC Films. I will now return to my fingernail biting, and pray that at least there is some closure in the 6 to 7 hours.

~
Co-Founder of Short of the Week, Sondhi lives in Brooklyn working as a Curator for Vimeo. Follow his musings on online video, direct distribution and branded content: @jasondhi.
  • http://www.andrewsallen.com Andrew S Allen

    That’s harsh. Nice to see Ray Wise revive the crazy-eyed look he perfected in Twin Peaks.

  • Amy Petersen

    Love it! Very dark and kept me on the edge. You have the midas touch in selecting fabulous shorts.

  • Aaron Oneilson

    Well, that was legitimately fucked up.

  • Joey Scruggs

    Wow! That was intense!

  • Russell The Magnificent

    Dialogue was too on the nose for me. Kinda wish He had hit his wife over the head with the shovel and buried her in the desert…

  • Russell The Magnificent

    Dialogue was too on the nose for me. Kinda wish He had hit his wife over the head with the shovel and buried her in the desert…

  • Russell The Magnificent

    Dialogue was too on the nose for me. Kinda wish He had hit his wife over the head with the shovel and buried her in the desert…

  • Russell The Magnificent

    Dialogue was too on the nose for me. Kinda wish He had hit his wife over the head with the shovel and buried her in the desert…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ericgoetz Eric Goetz

    Oh man. Great acting and directing, but I kinda wish I hadn’t just seen that.