No Hidden Extras (2016) short film review

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A sex worker is desperately trying to gain custom from a sleazy motel room, while a mysterious stranger watches from outside, yet all may not be what it seems in the short film No Hidden Extras.

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Abigail (Andrea Valls) is impatiently waiting for one of her three mobile phones to ring. When they do ring, the callers are punters trying to make a booking with her for a night of sex and, whilst they may be frustrated in a certain department, she too is frustrated with people wasting her time. She doesn’t want a quick thirty minute appointment for little money; she wants one customer for a night of fun and frolics at the price she has set.

Unbeknown to Abigail though, a man is waiting outside her room, watching her every movement from the shadows. Is he a stalker? Is he someone waiting for the right moment to attack her? Or maybe he is just another lonely and desperate man looking for some action? Obviously I am not going to spoil the film for you, so you will have to look out for the film yourself.

Directed by Ian Smyth, who had just one short film directorial credit to his name before No Hidden Extras – the 2015 short mystery Isolation – Smyth does exceptionally well in building up tension and creating a short that grabs your attention by the groin and doesn’t let go until the credits start to roll.

Everything about No Hidden Extras screams professional. The camera work by Lucas Tucknott is crisp, with some great shots added with sublime lighting, I especially loved the look of the car journey, which may have been inspired by the Tom Hardy starrer – Locke. The audio is crisp throughout and the score by Mark Hodkins certainly suited the mood of the film.14281422 10207440361586459 353729683 n No Hidden Extras (2016) short film review

Whilst having nice audio and imagery is important, it means very little if the performances by the film’s cast is below par. Luckily, No Hidden Extras doesn’t suffer from that problem. Andrea Valls turns in a performance of the highest quality, and she is strongly supported by Ray Bullock Jnr as Charlie.

I was pleasantly surprised by No Hidden Extras – a hard-hitting and enthralling short film that takes a dark look at the British sex trade and the dangers that come with it. Definitely recommended.

5 / 5 stars     

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