MPAA Rating: NR
Film Pulse Score: 5/10
Remote is one of those films that has such an interesting storyline, that you’ll find yourself interested and invested in it, despite it’s shortcomings. Written and directed by Marc Roussel, this short film explores the idea of time, and our connections to the past in a very interesting way. Think The Lake House, only with more throat slitting.
The film centers on Matt (Ron Basch) who, on a stormy winter night, finds that he has a direct connection to the past through his TV set. On the other end, is a girl who just so happens to be sitting in his living room, only it’s over two decades in the past. The two begin communicating with one another until Matt looks the girl up on the internet and discovers what the girl’s future holds.
Being a fan of movies that play with the concept of time, I found the plot to be the most compelling thing in this short. Although it was simple, as it needed to be compressed into twenty minutes, the arch was satisfying and still had the feel of a feature length narrative.
The negative aspects of this film are areas that many low-budget indie films fall victim to- the acting being the most glaring problem. The poor line delivery of most of the characters makes the film suffer greatly, and can easily distract the viewer from the interesting story that’s unfolding.
Technical and performance issues aside, this is still worth a watch, and a cut above the rest of most of the shorts that we are graced with reviewing. This could be something that would work better in a feature length format, where the filmmakers could explore the characters and the phenomenon a little but more. Personally, I would love to see something like this involving more mystery and on a larger scale.
In that regard, there is something to be said about the short format of the film as well. Directors that decide to make a short film often don’t realize how tough it can be to pull it off. The time constraints alone make it much more difficult to squeeze in an entire story, along with character development and a standard three act structure. To that, this movie succeeds, with slightly less time spent on who the characters are, and more on the situation they find themselves in.
All in all, Remote is a solid effort from Marc Roussel, and I hope to see more progression in his technique and possibly some feature films in his future. It always hurts me to come down on a movie for poor acting and dialogue, but in this case I find that it is detrimental to the film. That being said, I would still recommend giving it a watch, especially if you’re in the sci-fi/horror crowd like me.