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By Alan Ng | March 22, 2023

It’s not hard to step outside and see how we as a society are becoming more and more attached to our devices. Director/writer Xingyu “Harry” Chen and co-writer John Thompson delve into this phenomenon in their horror short Attached.

Theo (David Vi Hoang) is a college student struggling to attend his classes because he’s consumed by his cell phone. He’s either chatting with friends or playing online games. Then one day, his finger becomes stuck to the screen to the point that he has to rip it off, taking the tip of his finger with it. Not even the excruciating pain of a missing fingertip will stop Theo from being on his phone. That’s when his “attachment” to his phone takes on a whole new meaning.

“…his finger becomes stuck to the screen to the point that he has to rip it off…”

First, let’s address that Attached is a low-budget indie film made by emerging filmmakers. The quality of the movie and acting is good but a bit rough around the edges, as indicative of most new filmmakers. The flick’s inherent weaknesses come in its lack of resources. High-quality cameras, professional lighting, sound gear, and really expensive make-up effects would have benefitted the proceedings. While more money would have helped, Chen makes the most of what’s available.

Where Attached shines is its simple story. In their brief ten-minute motion picture, Chen and Thompson take the inarguable fact that we spend too much time on our phone and slowly morphs it into body horror. This short is all about the progression showing how we are becoming one with our devices while bringing body horror into the mix. At that, it works.

For screening information, visit the Attached official webpage.

Attached (2023)

Directed: Xingyu "Harry" Chen

Written: Xingyu Chen, John Thompson

Starring: David Vi Hoang, Ron L. Palmer, Maddie Nguyen, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

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"…Chen makes the most of what's available."

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