I have a love/hate relationship with short films because there isn’t a middle ground. Film school is starting to look like a place to go to get in from the rain. When they’re done well, it’s so moving and amazing because in this short period of time, I cared about these characters and was sad to see them fail or overjoyed to see them win. What a lot of filmmakers fail to understand about the short is how challenging they are and really it should inform them that maybe they should try something else. Painting? Sculpting? Insurance? Mail Carrier? Many terrible short-filmmakers will evolve into terrible feature-length story tellers. They have to be stopped!
The short film becomes the proving ground for their bad habits: trading a shocking shot for narrative, trading grittiness for character likeability, trading story structure for a lazy jumbled mess masquerading as realism.
ORIGIN is the worst short that I’ve ever seen. It’s good in that it show what NOT to do. The story is derivative and boring. The characters are unlikeable, which might trick a teacher into saying great realism, but in reality – banal unlikeable characters lower your stakes and destroy your final act. The dialogue is predictable. The emotion is stilted and unbelievable. Sadly, it was thirteen minutes too long.
ORIGIN depicts a banal and horrible family dealing with their son being attacked and slowly transforming into a monster. The son doesn’t speak and we learn nothing about him; so, I didn’t care when he died. The father was gross, boring, and annoying; so, I didn’t care when he had to put his monster son down. The mom was a boring/cheating whiner. Her dull and uncaring boyfriend was just sort of there sometimes like a mailbox. The mom and her boyfriend added nothing and slowed an already terrible story down.
What was really insulting was the hamfisted violins at the end that were way too loud to let me know- this is where you should feel……sad. Well, I didn’t and no one should. Don’t tell me how to feel. You have to earn concern. You have to earn stakes. Just having a bunch of unlikeable people running around is boring. We need a show on TLC called filmmaker intervention!