Always Image

Always

By Alan Ng | July 22, 2020

It’s never happened to me, but it’s happened to my friends, co-workers, and even close family. Getting the news that you have a serious health problem and that you’re life—and your daily routine—is about change forever is the theme behind Melissa Del Rosario and Sam Zapian’s horror short, Always.

David Kurtz plays our protagonist. He was diagnosed with diabetes and is in the early stages of getting into the habit of pricking his finger to get periodic blood sugar readings. But that’s all background. The 11-minute short walks us through his anxiety and night-terrors as he comes to grips with this new future.

We open with our hero jolted awake with a half-a-dozen disembodied hands holding him down. In the background, there is an unknown figure running/sprinting in place. It’s rapid foot stomps create heart-pounding white noise in the background. Wandering through his apartment, he is confronted with various elements of his new normal.

“…walks us through his anxiety and night-terrors as he comes to grips with this new future.”

Full confession, I watched Always cold without any background information, and I’ll admit I was lost through most of it. Since I revealed the set-up in this review, that’s not going to happen, but knowing about the protagonist’s diabetes helps a lot going in.

That said, it’s clear that Del Rosario and Zapian’s goal with Always is to invoke feelings of fear and anxiety (with a flavoring of horror) to get us to feel and empathize with others who are going through life-changing…changes. The horror elements (though lite) are used effectively by heightening the experience through the visual metaphors of the hands, the runner, and more.

For those of us who’ve never gone through this experience, I liken it to getting a shot. The build-up in your mind is far worse than the actual event that takes only a millisecond. But knowing this is your future over the long term can lead you down a very long rabbit hole of terror.

Always (2020)

Directed: Sam Zapiain

Written: Melissa Del Rosario

Starring: David Kurtz, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Always Image

"…horror elements are used effectively by heightening the experience..."

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