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By Mark Bell | December 12, 2013

Sasha (Nicole Faraday) answers an ad, for a low-priced chair to rent in a salon, that seems too good to be true. As she tries to figure out owner Chrissy (Nathaniel Francis), who assures Sasha that the extremely generous terms are all on the up-and-up, Sasha remains aggressively dubious. Turns out her distrust is more than a little warranted.

Barri Costello’s short film Chair to Rent paints an unlikely place as a haven for violence and horror, but then again it’s not unprecedented (Sweeney Todd comes to mind). Running out a simple scenario is a great use of the short film format, obviously, but that doesn’t make the film a transcendent example of the form. Instead it is so-so; fine for what it is, but not wonderful.

I mean, there’s not much to criticize here. The short looks fine enough, and it has an eccentric feel to it that is charming in its own warped way. Sound work is fine, pace is adequate (though it could use a little tightening). It’s fine.

I just didn’t love it. It lacked something to elevate it beyond its one-note of strangeness with a twist. Perhaps more compelling characters? I honestly can’t say, I just found the film to be competent in execution but overall unimpressive.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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