A man is involved in a car accident with devastating results in the intelligent and twisty short film Cause and Effect by director Curtis Reid. Check out our review after the jump.
Cause and Effect sees a man called Brandon trying to win a battle with his own personal demons, but failing miserably. Although he has been searching for a job and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, he is still hugging the bottle for comfort, which in turn is causing huge strains on his relationship with his girlfriend. After an explosive argument, Brandon takes to the wheel and is soon involved in a head-on crash with an oncoming vehicle.
Meanwhile, five friends hang out at one of their homes. They are chatting about everyday subjects and drinking wine until they come across a news report regarding the crash that Brandon was involved in. As updates come through, the five friends watch intently, hoping that no one they know was involved in the incident.
Curtis Reid has created an intelligent short film in Cause and Effect. Whilst the idea may be pretty simple, Reid has made just enough adjustments to keep the audience interested throughout. It runs at a steady pace up until the ending, where the pay-off is delivered to a great effect. The beauty behind a good twist ending is that you don’t see it coming, and Cause and Effect was handled as such. All the hints are there, but you may not register them on first viewing, and that’s why it worked so well.
For the most part, all the performances are good by the actors, barring the delivery of a couple of lines. I did have a few issues with some of the dialogue exchanges. I found the whole scene where the five friends talk about sibling actors to be unnecessary and did nothing to help move the film along. It reminded me a little of the scene in Scream 2 during film class, where Randy and his fellow students are discussing sequels. There were a couple more similar instances and, should they have been removed, the film would have been more compact, precise and it would help keep the runtime down too.
Cause and Effect had a sinister score playing throughout and it went hand-in-hand with the images onscreen really well. Composer Chris Zabriskie should definitely be commended for his music for this short film, it took me back to watching Michael Mann’s excellent Manhunter back in 1986 and if that is not a compliment, I don’t know what is.
If directing the film wasn’t enough, Curtis Reid also took on the responsibility of editor, actor (he plays Greg), and producer. You cannot be anything but impressed by the effort and love that went into making Cause and Effect and not just by Reid, but by everyone involved in the film. They all need to take a step back and give themselves a pat on the back for a job well done.
Overall, I really enjoyed Cause and Effect; it has a great story with a great ending. It would have garnered an even higher score had Reid chopped the unnecessary scenes and dialogue out, leaving the runtime to be around the 15-20 minute mark instead of the 36 minutes it currently comes in at.