Seth Kozak, Damian Veilleux
A wealthy man, for largely unknown reasons sets in motion a plan to have his younger wife Catalina killed. When the night in question arrives, her last-minute schedule change sets in motion a game of cat and mouse - between her and the would-be assassin. As Catalina checks into a nearly deserted hotel in an attempt to escape the icy roads for the night, there's little doubt to us viewers that the assassin has checked in as well. Whether she survives the night or not isn't really the point of this short film however. Sometimes, it's all about the journey and "Rendezvous" is at times, quite tense. If you're a fan of the genre, this film clocks in at under 15 minutes, so there's really no reason not to check this one out.
"Rendezvous" is one of those decent films that with a bit of tweaking, could have been so much better. The story itself is more than a little cliche, including the final twist ending, but it's a story that is cliche for a reason. It works almost every time. It works to create and build suspense, and it works as a jumping-off point for motives. In this film, it especially works to help create an uneasy feeling; one that directors Seth Kozak and Damian Veilleux achieve so nicely. When considering everything I'm going to write below, remember one thing. This is an above-average short film and I definitely enjoyed my time with it.
Katarina Morhacova as Catalina puts forth a good performance, laying and maintaining the groundwork the rest of the troupe have put in place, including some pleasantly creepy work from Chris Kerson. However, some of the post-production elements have held this film back. Mainly revolving around some of the stylistic choices made in the editing room. More on that below.
Worldbuilding is tough when done through a short film. Getting an audience to see things the way the filmmaker sees them can be difficult with so little length to work with. It's the reason the post process is so damn important, and the reason creating the correct flow and pace can make or break a production. Case in point? "Rendezvous" is jam-packed with fade to black edits and a couple of very awkward transitions. When I say jam-packed with fades, I really mean it and truthfully, almost every single one ripped me out of the film - I even found myself counting them. Fades are generally used sparingly except in highly stylized productions. They are mainly meant to show a major plot point has taken place, not as a straight edit to the next segment. I don't usually link to some of our articles when writing a review, but in this case, we have a very brief breakdown of transitions, right here. On the flipside? I also noticed a few excellent transitions in this film, including one involving a card reader.
It may seem like I spent a lot of time with my transitions gripe, but I can't stress enough that they were the biggest single issue I had with this movie. But when it's all said and done? Even they weren't enough to erase the tension "Rendezvous" works to build. The great use of music and background scoring, and the entire setup and location made for a great yarn. I should also note that although the twist ending didn't really surprise me, it still felt so damn good to see. As I wrote above, I enjoyed my time here. Easily, three stars.