In the thriller Rendezvous, an opportunistic Congressman conspires with a mysterious voice on the phone to murder his much younger wife during her trip out of town. Of course, things are not always as they seem. Seth Kozak’s story of murder and intrigue is relatively straightforward. Often short films are not about the story itself but an exercise in playing with the emotions of its audience.
It starts with laying a foundation of discord by establishing characters, motivations, and tone. Congressman Zachary Wright (Mike Sutton) has a sinister edge. He feigns concern for the safety of his wife, Catalina (Katarina Morhacova), who’s about to embark on a trip to visit her mother. Congressman Wright is steadfastly resolute in his murder plot, and she has no idea there’s anything wrong.
The bulk of the film then slowly builds tension and suspicion in the mind of Catalina. She arrives at the hotel and meets a stranger (Chris Kerson), who is just a little too curious and a bit too helpful towards our heroine. Now, the mind games begin for Catalina. Is she safe? Is the soft crick of the floorboard a footstep, just a small crick of the floorboards? Why did the power just go out?
“…an opportunistic Congressman conspires with a mysterious voice on the phone to murder his much younger wife…”
I’ll just say there is a twist at the end. Although the twist seems to exist as solely the means to wrap up the short film. It’s not necessarily surprising.
Kozak does an excellent job of drawing us into the action of Catalina’s plight. He has the right beats of the story and makes good use of a driving soundtrack. He keeps you on your toes and in a continuous state of paranoia. I wish the story carried on a little bit longer as the ending is just a little bit abrupt.
Katarina Morhacova is also a highlight of the film. She is the firm foundation of the short that holds the film’s other performances together. The short’s only shortcomings are its melodramatic acting by supporting characters giving us a soap opera feel, and the suspense is a little too safe. Short films offer a great avenue to take risks in storytelling and be innovative in the thriller genre. Instead, it’s just a standard thriller.
"…has the right beats of the story and makes good use of a driving soundtrack."