Do you like practical jokes?
Everyone has to get their start somewhere, and a lot of us get them working on short films.
This one was shot by cinematographer Greig Fraser, who would go on to do numerous films, like Dune, The Batman, and Vice. Directed by Nash Edgerton and written by Edgerton and David Michod, this short tells the story of a man who always takes his jokes too far. His girlfriend is annoyed with him, and on the drive home, they work to deal with their issues.
I won't spoil what happens, but suffice it to say, it's very fun. Check it out below. Spoilers to follow.
Spider from greig fraser on Vimeo.
What we can learn from this short
Spider is one of those shorts that sticks with you... and out of your eye.
The special effects and stunt work is spectacular and serve the short well during this cringe-inducing experience.
The premise here is simple. We arrive late after an unnamed prank has gone wrong. As the boyfriend vigorously apologizes, he knows he's in deep. They stop for gas, he grabs flowers, chocolates, and a fake spider. After planting the spider in the sunshade, things spiral. He makes up with this girlfriend, who is scared by the spider, gets out of the car, and is hit by a car. Then, when paramedics come, they attempt to give her a shot, but the paramedic sees the spider and stabs the boyfriend in the eye after jumping in fear.
This is one of the more hilarious setups and payoffs, in a short that really capitalizes on how it uses its time to subvert expectations, challenge notions of who you're rooting for, and even makes you feel bad as to what you're rooting for. I'd say it's a hard watch, but I think the laughs make it easier.
If I had to pick a critique, I wish it had more of a punch at the end. It feels like we get left hanging, pretty literally. I'd like to have seen the prank come full circle or continue to spiral. But that's just me being nitpicky.
Let us know what you think in the comments.
March 4, 2022 at 9:53AM, Edited March 4, 9:53AM
I would have loved it if the boyfriend stumbled back further and also got hit by a car after getting the needle in the eye. If we're going dark, let's go dark.
March 5, 2022 at 1:04AM
What a great short! The beauty here, as with anything, is its simplicity and continuity. We're told, from the beginning, "Always Jack, you go too far" and yet he just can't help himself and we're left thinking: This is not going to end well". Then the well-paced edit and build up to the "accident", delayed gratification because the accident does not happen, delayed gratification because she is not killed and the wrap-up reference to the opening statement: "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye". Watching it again, there's even more foreshadowing in the opening credits showing a "spider web" that is, in fact, a broken windshield, so right from the get-go we're set up psychologically to expect something, but it does not happen as expected. If I'd read the script for this, I probably would have thought..."Meh", but the end result is super entertaining and suspenseful. Loved it. Nash Edgerton is a pretty talented guy. If you haven't watched the series MR. INBETWEEN yet, I would highly recommend it. It's a great three-season series directed by Nash Edgerton. Dark, but really worth watching. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7472896/
March 11, 2022 at 8:12AM