By Dave B.
Wanderer (2015, currently on Amazon Prime) is a 16-minute short film. It begins with a young man walking towards a secluded house in the desert. He encounters a young couple at the house and, after a brief introduction, the husband offers the traveler dinner and a place to stay for the night. The dinner proves surprisingly intense as the traveler and the husband verbally spar over various life philosophies and viewpoints, which paves the way for the film’s surprise ending.
For me, reviewing short films is, by necessity, a bit different than reviewing feature length movies. Yes, the quality of things such as the script, acting, and directing still matter. But with short movies, I tend to give more weight to the amount of impact the film has on me in the amount of time that it’s on than I might with a two-hour movie or a television series, for example. So although the performances in Wanderer are decent, but not great, I don’t hold that against the film in the same way that I might in a longer movie. I enjoyed the movie’s plot and dialogue. And where Wanderer truly excels is in crafting and nurturing a feeling of tension and foreboding throughout its short runtime. As the characters eat dinner, it’s clear that something is wrong with the situation, but it isn’t clear what that may be. I applaud directors Mark O’Brien and Jake Wilkens for being able to create thrills and suspense in such a short period of time. I definitely recommend Wanderer, especially for viewers who believe that a short film doesn’t need to be synonymous with being a crappy one.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.