Wowzers

For better or worse, a good film should make you feel. It should connect with you in some way as a human being and make you empathize with the protagonist. The majority of cinema tells stories by presenting a familiar premise as a way to hook us in. But sometimes, a struggle or pain is so deep that other filmmaking methods are employed to make you feel something you’ve never felt before. Welcome to Wowzers.

In Ace Thor’s Wowzers, Jacqueline (Sam Fox) is a tormented young woman. She’s haunted by a recurring dream of a park playset, sand castles, and the ocean, but her brief moments of serenity is abruptly interrupted by indistinguishable voices and intense panic. The dreams won’t stop, and she is slowly losing her grip on sanity as a quiet night with her boyfriend (Doug Noble) ends very badly.

“…her brief moments of serenity is abruptly interrupted by indistinguishable voices and intense panic.”

Jacqueline’s dream takes her to the surreal and deviant world of Wowzers. I suppose it’s a world that exists somewhere between the conscious and the sub-conscious and its run by an emcee, of sorts, Mr. Dimm (Sam Ball). Wowzers can best be described as a BDSM-version of Alice in Wonderland. She is guided briefly by Top Hat Pig Nose Man (Donald Lancaster). She meets fellow patron Kayla (Sarah Jo Marson) answering Jacqueline’s questions with shallow non-answers. Of course, Mr. Dimm is not who he seems to be. Will Jacqueline figure out what’s wrong, or how about just a good night’s sleep?

Wowzers can best be described as an experimental film providing tension through moments of horror and releasing the tension with subtle moments of comedy/oddity. You’ll follow Jacqueline as she searches for answers, but soon discover there are no answers to Mr. Dimm’s manipulation.

The film effectively creates tension through quick edits, provocative images, and abrupt shifts in sound. The short film is not perfect. The acting during the Wowzers portion is a little over-the-top, which may or may not be intentional. That said, Ace Thor and Sam Fox are going to take you on a bit of a mind game, that may linger for a while.

Wowzers (2019) Directed by Ace Thor. Written by Sam Fox, Ace Thor. Starring Sam Fox, Sam Ball, Jo Marson, Doug Noble, Donald Lancaster. Wowzers is making its West Coast premiere at the 2019 Dance With Films.

7 out of 10 stars

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