07th Nov2015

‘The Package’ Review (Short Film)

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Dan Palmer, Tom Gordon | Written and Directed by Damon Rickard

the-package-poster

To put it simply, The Package is a short film, written and directed by Damon Rickard, about how far a man is prepared to go to get something back that was stolen from him…

One of the great things about short films is that there is rarely time for establishing detailed characters or setting, so they jump straight into the meat of it. This is absolutely true with The Package, as no more than twenty seconds in, the main character (whose name we never learn) is knocked out and wakes up tied to a chair in an unknown location.

Who is he? We don’t know. Why is he there? We don’t know. What follows is a scene of uncomfortable torture where we are drip fed just enough information to keep us on the cusp of understanding, always wanting to know more. This film doesn’t hold back on the gore: a man is tortured for the information he withholds. Yet, it isn’t straight up torture. These men have a history, the torturer is almost reluctant, but at the same time willing to do whatever it takes, and boy does he go to some gross-out limits.

I was very impressed by the depth of the story, mainly shown through the characters and the way they interacted with each other – yet, at the same time, without actually revealing anything.  Both actors, Tom Gordon and Dan Palmer, provide a refreshing, different performance. Each character’s motives are quickly established and although neither is very likable, they are definitely both intriguing. The surprise twist at the end (which I doubt anyone would see coming) is a pleasantly freaky surprise cherry on the top of the ice cream that is The Package. Well played, Damon Rickard. Well played.

As short films go, this one is intriguing, exciting and doesn’t hold back. The Package is a great addition to the genre.

**** 4/5

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