Tommy (Thomas Burke) and Zack (Zachary T. Scott) are friends, and while they might not always see eye to eye, they have a connection and genuinely care about one another. One night they meet up on a video call where Tommy expresses his concerns about how he has been feeling all day. SHC: Freak Accident depicts the events leading up to Tommy’s demise, as Zack helplessly watches on, unable to save his friend or even comprehend what is occurring.
On the surface, the film appears ridiculous, like something that might never happen to any of us, but the reality is that the incredibly short movie (running a mere 2 minutes) plays on the fears of the masses. Death is a concept that the world has spent centuries attempting to understand, but the mystery of death still eludes every living soul. Regardless of what we do or don’t know about death, the fact that it will eventually take hold of us, with seemingly no warning, terrifies us. Burke effectively plays on that fear throughout the plot.
I know that someday I will die, and the where, when, and how of that mystery is something that haunts me. To be clear, I’m not up late at night stewing in my thoughts about death, but I understand the reality that death will eventually come. Even just the title, SHC: Freak Accident, expresses to viewers the fact that, on any given day, something inexplicable or unwarranted may occur, and that’s the true brilliance of the film.
“…depicts the events leading up to Tommy’s demise, as Zack helplessly watches on…”
Cinema is changing, and it’s no secret that the modern world (in general) relies more than ever on technology to survive. Burke aims to pull cinema into the twenty-first century by realistically depicting the entire story on a computer screen. While it isn’t that unique, the filmmaker makes it feel natural. This style welcomes younger viewers who have been staring at computer screens their entire lives. I appreciate the ingenuity of Burke as he attempts to appeal to the masses and believe that what he’s accomplished is tremendously impressive.
I’m picky, and I tend to find flaws even in movies I love. There is an instant — mind you, the entirety of SHC: Freak Accident feels like just an instant — when Zack’s character changes. I’m all for character development, as without it, any fictional narrative struggles on some level, but Zack changes in the blink of an eye from the sarcastic friend to something far more empathetic and down to earth. Such a transition would have been more impactful if revealed over a more considerable period of time. Having it happen so quickly, without any notice, the change rubbed me the wrong way and is frustrating.
This is incredibly different from any film that I’ve seen in the past — and that’s a good thing. I believe that Burke may have found a niche market in the world of cinema, and I consider it a success. With modern, relatable cinematography, a theme that’ll resonate with viewers everywhere, SHC: Freak Accident has all the makings of a movie that will garner a genuine cult following.
"…will garner a genuine cult following."