M is for Marriage (2013)
Review by Jude Felton
For the second time in as many weeks I’ve had the pleasure of checking out another entry in the search for The 26th Director, for the upcoming The ABC’s of Death Pt. 2. If the first anthology showed us anything, it was that there is a wondrous world of horror out there; it’s a versatile genre that so few really explore, outside of the usual suspects. Horror is a genre of trends; this week haunted houses are in vogue, next week it will be something else. So, it’s always a pleasure to watch a film where the filmmaker chooses to offer up fresh and exciting material.
M is for Marriage is directed by Todd E. Freeman, and focuses on a therapy session between the doctor, played by Jeffrey Newman, and his patient, played by Natalie Victoria. This is no ordinary therapy session though, and the practices, and end results, are as much physical as they are psychological.
This is a 4 minute short film, and within its timeframe it manages to convey a strong story coupled with a visceral punch to it. Of course, the real focus is the two leads, and both are mesmeric in their performances; Newman delivers an unerring intensity as the doctor, and Natalie Victoria shows another side to her acting skills, from that which you may have seen in the underrated DeadHeads. I honestly think she is a terrific actor, and this belief is further bolstered here. Both the leads are required to carry the short film, and both are more than up to the job.
In terms of the film itself, it is a precursor to the planned feature length film from Freeman, entitled Love Sick, and comes from a very personal place. However, I also see it as a perfect bridge from his previous movie, Cell Count, into Love Sick. Body horror is once again prevalent, although maybe not as you might expect it. In my opinion you can definitely see Freeman’s fascination in the psychological made physical, as a theme he enjoys working with.
Setting M is for Marriage within the confines of the doctor’s office works perfectly; it adds focus and intensity to the film, and also allows the technical aspect to shine through.
This is another terrific film from Freeman, and another excellent entry into the ABC’s of Death contest, so don’t tell me that you don’t have 4 minutes to spare in order to watch it!
You can vote for M is for Marriage here, after you have checked out the film below.