A physicist is wracked with guilt thinking his new energy source will destroy the world. He convinces his best friend to help him investigate.
Written By: Mark Schwab
Directed By: Mark Schwab
I remember reading Stephen King's "Dark Tower" books many years ago and as I sat watching "Thin Places", I couldn't help but think of the similarities contained within Mark Schwab's short film. That's not to say this film is an exact replication by any means, only to write that Mr. King's books did come to mind. So what is this film about? Simply put: Dimensions. At least that's what I got out of it. Is "Thin Places" one of those off the wall science fiction stories, that you just know could never be the case? Not really. There's so much we don't know in the universe and to be honest... that's the fun of it. Wonder if one of these other dimensions were found when hunting for a new power source? Sound a little familiar? It should. It's been done numerous times in film and paper media. The reason for it's constant use as a plot is simple. It works, it's fun and it never fails to get our imaginative gears turning.
"Thin Places" does end up serving an interesting concept, one we always seem to fall into again and again. However, at the same time it does absolutely nothing once that concept has been revealed. It's all lead up and no execution. If the goal of this short was to open the door to future stories... that would be a different story. However, I don't see that being the case, although I could be wrong. The main problem is that Mark Schwab opens the door for us and simply closes it. A glimpse of the potential story we may never get to see. A prelude is always an interesting thing when followed upon. As it stands right now, as interesting a concept as "Thin Places" presents us, it feels like a futile exercise because we never get rewarded at the end. Only left with more questions and hopes. Again, this simply feels like an introduction to a larger story.
The technicalities of this short are pretty much what you are expecting from a no budget film, although, in retrospect, you can see this is an indie flick with some experience behind it. The film smoothly pushes forward in the expected jumpy format. This is a film involving dimensions isn't it? You expect a somewhat jumpy narrative. I did notice however, a lot of issues that easily could have been addressed. Mainly taking the form of color and contrast. In some places, shot by shot, the color tone completely changes, giving a different location kind of feel. I also couldn't help but notice, using the opening sequence as an example, that a lot of contrasting issues existed. During the opening dialog scene, one actor, when the camera was on him, has so much contrast/curves that he looked as if he had raccoon eyes. Yet the second character, when the camera turned on him was well lit with very little contrast. It was rather distracting and could have been easily remedied.
Where "Thin Places" does stand out is when we write about the two actors. Without rambling on all that much, or giving away any details, let's just say they were completely believable, showing no real signs they were being filmed for a Sci-Fi short. The character portrayal alone easily elevated "Thin Places" past the mediocre mark. Well done, excellent casting choices.
This is a short film that given a larger picture and bigger scope, had/has all the potential to be something really special. All the pieces are in place, save the actual story being continued beyond what seems to be a prelude. Still though, enough interesting ideas exist to make it an entertaining 11 minutes. The great job by the cast cement that aspect. I suppose this whole thing is a compliment, to leave the viewer wanting more. However, it's a shame that we don't actually get any more. If you're looking for a quick fix that will entertain than here it is. Just remember I warn you... "Thin Places" will leave you starving for more.
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