One hundred and nine days from now, the world is going to change for the worse. In writer/director Justin Suttles’ short thriller, I’m Still Here, people are forced to take shelter as a mysterious invasion picks off people who are wandering out in the open. Young Maggie (Catherine Atkinson) finds herself alone in the basement for days, as her parents went out on a mission to get supplies.
On this day, Maggie makes a desperate call on her radio in hopes her parents can hear her. But, instead, she finds a young mother, Emory (Kate Kovach), and her infant on the other end. The two find a much-needed connection in their shared predicament. But, unfortunately, it’s now Maggie’s turn as the unknown enemy is about to breach her home.
“…Maggie finds herself alone in the basement for days…”
I’m Still Here was shot in a single no-frills location, that being, of course, the basement. It features a single actor in Atkinson with voice-over acting from Kovach. The story’s emotions and thrills come courtesy of well-thought-out camera angles, sound effects, and acting. Suttles does a fantastic job conjuring and orchestrating the thrills and brings a moment of much-needed hope in the end between Maggie and Emory.
The only criticism I have of I’m Still Here is that the thriller elements could have been pushed a little bit further. Close-ups of Maggie could have been closer, the lighting (or lack thereof) could have been darker, and the scares scarier. I say this knowing that it needs to be seen in a theater where sound and light are better controlled. Nevertheless, the short film is an excellent example of doing a lot with very little money and taps into the fact that what you don’t see is scarier than what you do.
"…Suttles does a fantastic job conjuring and orchestrating the thrills…"