Here are two short films, both enjoyable, that couldn’t be more different. Both shorts are centered on female characters, and both films don’t rest on a male character coming to save the day. One film, though, goes for the jugular while the other is a more cerebral and thought-provoking film. Let’s get to it.
THE PRICE OF BONES is an eleven minute short film directed by Brandon Taylor. The film focuses on two girlfriends, Caprice (Summerisa Bell Stevens) and Heather (Jordan Anton), friends who have bonded over their desire to be skinny. Like, really skinny. Seriously … ghoulishly skinny. Caprice lives with her parents. Her mom (Lisa Dennett) is overbearing and knows her daughter has an unhealthy relationship with food and a poor self-image. Her mother hides behind being a martyr concerning the absence of Caprice’s father (who is always working).
In a short amount of time we get a pretty deep characterization of Caprice. She doesn’t much like her parents or herself and at one point even relates, in a rare moment of vulnerability, that she is losing weight because she wants to completely disappear. One particular meeting with Heather, Caprice tells her that her parents are going out of town and she and Heather decide to spend the weekend together. Once at the house, Heather tells Caprice that she really wants her bones to be seen. Caprice comes up with a great idea: In the house is a large wooden chest. Caprice suggests that Heather get in the chest and stay in it all weekend. This way, even if she gets a weak will, she won’t be able to eat anything. Caprice, she reasons, will look over her and make sure she stays in all weekend.
As you can imagine, things do not go well and THE PRICE OF BONES ends on a very disturbing and dark note. The acting is fantastic by the two leads. The girls convey everything from innocence, self-obsession, and sadness and are also able to make the audience feel sorry for them while at the same time making us disgusted with them. Writer Samantha Kolesnik definitely has something to say and between the acting and directing, that message comes through loud and clear.
LUCKY GIRL also delves into the mind of a female character, but writer-director Demeter Lóránt falls back on the slasher sub-genre for inspiration. This sixteen minute short opens with the horrific aftermath of a car crash. Three girls are strewn across the countryside having been thrown from their car. Suddenly a man (Géza Benko) appears and loads the three girls into his van and takes them back to his remote house. Yes, the man is a killer and he methodically takes his time with each girl as he violates and tortures each victim. One of the girls wakes up and tries to fight back. But the verdict is still out as to whether she was any better off regaining consciousness!!
LUCKY GIRL explores the boundaries of friendship and the lengths one might go to survive. The short doesn’t always go to comfortable places, but I guarantee you won’t forget this one. LUCKY GIRL is nasty, brutal, and at times hard to watch. Yeah, pretty damn fun.
THE PRICE OF BONES and LUCKY GIRL are two fun, well-made shorts that will grab you and keep you glued to the screen. PRICE definitely has a more somber message and has a lot to say, whereas LUCKLY echoes back to the good old days of 1980s slasher films, but gives us one helluva great female character. Check them both out.
My Summary of THE PRICE OF BONES:
Director: Brandon Taylor
Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Gore: 0 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
My Summary of LUCKY GIRL:
Director: Demeter Lóránt (& writer, producer, editor, & digital f/x artist)
Plot: 3 out of 5 stars
Gore: 6 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Both Shorts Reviews by Scott Shoyer