In a world, where computers have boiled down child development into a series of statistic, comes Wyrm. Set in the futuristic retro 90’s, Wyrm (Reid Miller) is a young pre-teen who is within two days of being held back in school. According to society’s “No Child Left Alone” policy, boys and girls cannot reach the next step of evolution, puberty, unless they complete the Level 1 Sexuality Requirement. For boys, the requirement is kissing someone and not just a peck on the cheek. We’re talking somewhere between first and second base.
Wyrm is a fantastic, odd, and touching coming of age story. Every child is forced to wear a My.E.Q. device or Electronic Emotional Remote Monitoring Collar around his/her neck. The collar monitors a child vitals and releases itself once he/she has met the required sexuality requirement.
“…boys and girls cannot reach the next step of evolution, puberty, unless they complete the Level 1 Sexuality Requirement…somewhere between first and second base.”
For Wyrm, he is the last student in his grade to have his collar still. Just days before his twin sister, Myrcella (Azure Brandi) lost her collar being fingered at the movies. Desperate to move forward in life, Wyrm calls everyone he knows. It appears his only hope is Myrcella’s best friend Izzy (Skye Popov).
Wyrm is just one of those shorts that’s delight to watch. First, it toys with teenage angst on every level. You feel Wyrm’s desperation to find anyone willing to make that sacrifice that seems small but really isn’t. Let’s also heap on our frail hero the backstory of the older brother that everyone loved but tragically died. The classic Stand By Me subplot.
Second, it’s an original idea. In the world of independent film, original idea’s score you a lot of points. Writer/director Chris Winterbauer creates a strange alternate universe, where everyone is slowly being replaced by computers. Computers that have keenly tracked childhood development into the cold study of statistics. The result—“No Child Left Alone.” It’s a weird prepubescent Logan’s Run.
“It’s a weird prepubescent Logan’s Run.”
The final fate of Wyrm is touching, poignant and a little sad. Wyrm could easily be a Twilight Zone episode without its dark, brooding undertones. The world of Wyrm has a Napolean Dynamite feel with props taped together with Apple II and TRS-80 accessories.
Finally, the cast of teen actors are amazing hit all the right emotional moments. Leads Reid Miller and Azure Brandi are natural as brother and sister. They admirably master the mature content from Winterbauer’s story.
Wyrm (2017) Written and directed by Chris Winterbauer. Starring Reid Miller, Azure Brandi, and Skye Popov
4.5 out of 5 stars