“Anna Is Being Stalked” is a short film about a girl named Anna who is, um… being stalked. The film wastes no time in establishing this fact. From the very first shot, Anna (Pat Buckley) is quite definitely, without a doubt, being stalked by a freakoid albino (Scott Prendergast) wielding a knife, a camera, and a t-shirt with the word “Anna”, appropriately enough, emblazoned upon it. Don’t worry though, this is not as disturbing as it sounds. For while Anna’s stalker may certainly look psycho enough and tends to mutter “Happy Birthday, I gonna kill you” under his breath, you get the feeling he’s actually quite harmless. Anna’s obviously got this feeling as well, since she looks merely irritated and not so much frightened, as he follows her down the street, through a supermarket, and then back home. Only then does Anna ever actually acknowledge his existence, albeit briefly, to accept a shopping bag from him that she had dropped. She then wastes no time in slamming the door on his face, leaving him to the mercy of the elements. (Clearly, this has been going on for some time.) The stalker stumbles across the street and takes his place at his shrine to Anna (a pole completely covered with photos of his obsession). That night, a particularly bitter one, Anna finally gives in to basic human compassion (you can tell it’s been a struggle) and invites him inside. “You have to stop now,” Anna tells him. “I know… but I’m still going to kill you,” he replies. “I know,” Anna sighs. Roll credits.
So why is this guy stalking Anna anyway? I mean she’s just an ordinary girl, not especially beautiful, not rich, just plain… ordinary. In a much longer film, we might get an answer to that question. But in a seven minute short, does it really matter? The stalker is stalking Anna because that’s what he does, he stalks. The real question is whether or not Anna can accept her stalker for who he really is: a lonely, mostly harmless, mental case.
“Anna Is Being Stalked”, the film not the reality, would make an interesting double feature with that freaky stalker film from last year, “One Hour Photo”. If you’ll recall, that one featured a blond Robin Williams as a weirdo photo guy obsessed with a soap-opera family. (Is it me or is every stalker in the movies suddenly blond? What’s up with that?) Personally, I think both Sy Parrish (Williams’ character) and Anna’s stalker are just misunderstood. They don’t want to hurt anybody… they just want to be loved.
Okay, so maybe I’m reading too much into this film. After all, this is supposed to be a comedy, I think. Which is not to say it isn’t funny, because at least on some level it is. As to where that level might be or if I’d want to stay there for too long, I’m not so sure. This is basically a one-joke premise that you either get right away and go with or you simply don’t. I went with it, barely, if just to see where it was going, which I quickly learned wasn’t very far. Though I must admit I’m curious as to what happens to these characters later. If “Anna” underwhelms as a short, it’s still an intriguing set-up to a much better feature.