Stars: Anwen Bull, James Knapp | Written and Directed by Theo Kai Marlow
Making its debut at this year’s FrightFest writer/director Theo Kai Marlow’s (The Most Savage Wedding Ever) eighteen-minute short Everyone Forgot has its roots in one of those nightmares that lurk in the back of everyone’s mind, nobody remembering that it’s your birthday. And that’s just what’s happened to Lily Painter (Anwen Bull; British Made, The Group). Nobody has wished her a happy birthday no matter how often she checks her Amego social media app.
She isn’t entirely alone though, the handyman service has sent Ben (James Knapp; The Young Cannibals, Your Eyes on Me) around to take care of some odd jobs in her new home. Despite the fact she has another, slightly creepy, motivation “I thought we could just hang out” the two seem to hit it off. But since this is playing at FrightFest you know there’s more going on than meets the eye.
The way Everyone Forgot starts out I was almost expecting a drama about middle age and loneliness before it takes a humourous turn and becomes more of a rom-com than a drama. But even then it has awkward moments with a sinister undertone that adds an edge to the proceedings and keeps the viewer from getting too comfortable about what they’re seeing.
Since what they are seeing is dialogue driven with no effects or action scenes to help keep the audience Bull and Knapp need to carry the film themselves, And both deliver solid performances making us care about their characters and develop a sense of dread about what is going to happen.
As a result, Everyone Forgot is both darkly amusing and at times rather touching as we watch Lily and Ben’s interactions on their way to the film’s conclusion. It’s worth catching if you get the chance.
Everyone Forgot screened as part of the Short Film Showcase 2 at this year’s Arrow Video London Frightfest.