A woman arrives at a large house with cleaning products, feather dusters and a young daughter in tow. She orders the girl to wait out of sight in another room while she works. But in keeping with a theme that runs through this short film, things are not how they first appear. The woman strips down to skimpy lingerie, before beginning a 'cleaning' routine that involves a lot of stretching and bending over in front of her employer. But when she realises that he has been stabbed, she runs to find her daughter, who she discovers is no longer alone...
Written and directed by Jerry Pyle (who also created the tense 'revenge' short, Burn) this seven-minute film plays with our expectations all the way through. Innocence and threat become less clearly defined, as the story explores the different vulnerabilities of its characters.
Denna Thomsen gives a convincing and impressive performance as the terrified mother in possibly the smallest smalls I've ever seen. The music is particularly noticeable, adding a sense of dread to certain scenes, and the photography (using a hand-held camera) underlines the uneasy feeling of unpredictability.
Normally I would avoid discussing anything that could be considered a spoiler, but there is one point of the film I wanted to question. One of the characters has been written as having a learning disability, as a plot device, which is something I wasn't entirely comfortable with. It's good that a film should make the audience question its preconceptions, and I understand what the film maker was trying to do here, but this felt slightly misguided.
I really enjoyed the director's previous film, and this one is also well directed and is technically very competent. I very much look forward to his next production. 3/5