This past October, ECHG writer Adam Holtzapfel had a chance to check out the short The Son, The Father, which played in the Thriller Shorts block at Nightmares Film Festival. Lukas Hassel took home the Night Mare for Best Actor In A Short for his performance.
The film starts with an empty shot glass and woman on the floor. We cut to see a young Luke (Lucas Oktay) passing the mailman who wishes him a happy birthday. Next we learn from the neighbor Susan (Sharva Maynard) whom Luke should not be speaking with that his mother almost kicked her dog as she proceeds to call her a drunken bitch and give Luke a birthday gift.
As Luke enters his house we cut back to the shot glass and his mother (Colleen Carey) on the floor. As he calls to his mom the audience sees she’s playing possum and asks if that’s what he’d really do if he found her “dead”. She’s outraged that he peed himself and also that he’s a daddy’s boy.
The father (Lukas Hassel) arrives and asks what happens as mother states she played dead as an emergency response test. As we cut to the mother entering Luke’s room we see a grizzly scene that leads to revenge.
We fast forward several years to Luke’s birthday we see an older father and Luke (Christopher Morson) discussing how their lives have changed and an unsuspected ending that I’m still floored by.
Written and directed by Hassel the film examines familial bonds. The acting, writing, and FX all work in favor of this short. Using a minimal cast let’s the viewer get sucked in to the setting and immersed in the family turmoil. Keep an eye out for this on the festival circuit.
(Images taken from Google)