December 17, 2012

Filthy Review - 'Out There'

Out There (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

There’s definitely something in the Irish water at the moment, with films such as the recent Citadel and Railway Children impressing the hell out of me. Now I can happily add Out There to this list, as this 16 minute short film is quite excellent. The film takes a simple premise and manages to infuse tension, thrills and perfect pacing until it reaches its wonderful climax.

A young man awakes deep in the heart of a forest, his face bloodied and having no recollection of how he got there. The man, Rob, then tries to retrace his footsteps, which slowly reveals, through a series of flashbacks, the true horror of his situation.

The bigger picture of the events in Out There might not be wholly original, and I am not going to spoil them here, but it is the manner in which the story is played out that impressed me most. I felt the sense of confusion and fear that Rob felt; I actually cared what had happened to him. This is where writer/director Randal Plunkett succeeds to well; he builds the tension, and in turn forces you to question what is going on.

Out There looks bloody incredible; it is wonderfully shot, utilizing the wonderful Irish scenery to perfection with a crystal clear picture. The accompanying soundtrack fits the movie to a tee and never imposes on the onscreen action. It actually reminded me of the 28 Days Later films, in particular the earlier stages of the sequel, 28 Weeks Later. Believe me, that should be taken as a high compliment, especially as I think Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s film is a quite superb film.

Where Out There hits home the best for me was about two thirds of the way in; the sudden change in tone in very effective and puts you under no illusion that this is a horror film. Events all click into place and the ‘oh shit’ factor comes into full effect.

I’ve said it before, and will no doubt say it many times again in the future, there is a wealth of terrific short films out there (no pun intended) that demand your attention. Quite often too much focus is given to feature length films which struggle to fill out their bloated running times. Out There uses all of its 16 minute running time to perfection; there’s no excess waste, with every shot helping to combine all the elements of the film into one powerful piece of work. Plunkett manages this without the use of too much dialogue, instead allowing the visuals to do the majority of the work, along with the excellent soundtrack.

If you get the chance to watch Out There, I highly recommend you do. I will also add that Randal Plunkett is another young Irish filmmaker that we should be hearing far more from in the future. Films don’t need to be 100% original in their subject matter, just as long as the execution offers up something new and fresh for audiences. This film manages this exceptionally well and impressed me no end. 

For more information about Out There you can check out the links below:

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