For those looking for a unique way to spend around ten minutes, you really can't go wrong with "Don't Open Me" from writer, director, Ziyad Saadi. It's not one of those films about saving the world. Or about brutality, mayhem or even family drama. It's a simple piece with a weird vibe, some crazy characters... and a box. I don't know about you, but when I see the words don't press the red button - or in this case, don't open me... what do you think the first thing I want to do is? Saadi has created a short film about loyalty, trust, with a strange "Twilight Zone" feel to it. Did I enjoy it? You bet.
Abdul is filling in for his sick boyfriend - and awaiting three packages. Once delivered, Abdul will pass them along. As the short film progresses and these packages are delivered, the mystery only deepens. A large amount of cash, a gun and finally... a box with the words don't open me attached. Just what the hell is his boyfriend mixed up in? And... who are all these complete weirdos delivering them and finally... what's in the box? Has Abdul's partner put him in harm's way? Is this some kind of test? And who the heck is that clown standing over there? All these questions will be answered, kind of, once you watch the short film. If it all sounds kind of unusual... that because it is. That's alright however, the fun is mainly in the journey.
Technically, there really isn't much to complain about here. Things are kept simple and to the point. Don't get simple confused with boring though, the bland exterior locations lend themselves perfectly to the crazy characters. Who, as luck would have it, are more than colorful enough to make up for any lack of interest you may think would be present. On a side note, I would swear - that the chosen location for this film was outside of a jail. Hmmmm.
Speaking again of the characters, they really are strange and wonderful. Cliche to the point of being creepy, but also loads of fun. From the stereotypical aunt, mamma type character from the 1950's, to a burned out clown. Everyone here is just so damned strange. Did I mention the acting fits just perfectly? Strange, unusual and perfect for this film. Even Abdul himself, shows just the right amount of confusion, distrust and maybe even a little fear. Had you asked me before watching this, if all these characters could co-exist within the same film, I would have laughed. Who's laughing now though? Right?
When it's all over, "Don't Open Me" is a great example of a simple story executed in an abstract way. A way that actually works, and is not overly crazy so as to turn people off. Ziyad Saadi's short film has an eerie charm to it, that is both from the film itself, and the way it's scored. No matter how you look at it, one thing is for sure. A great way to spend a few minutes of your day. Well done, a solid three and a half stars.