Open 24 Hours is a refreshing short film written and directed by Ryan J. Francis. The film takes place in a diner whose patrons are much more interested in each other than the coffee and eggs. You’ve got the waitress, the jilted husband, the cops, and the hitmen and things are going to get much worse before they get better. Francis, who’s worked as an actor since childhood, directs his debut film with levels conciseness and professionalism that’s not exactly common in world of low budget shorts. The director quickly sets up the story and only needs a few moments with each character to make the conflicts clear. And then like a string of dominos, the first piece moves just right and everything else falls into place until you’re just left with a messy floor.
Enough things worked in Francis’ first directorial effort to hint that a string of successful films might be what’s coming next. The film looked great and the writing was tight. Most of the actors gave strong performances and the ones who didn’t quite reach that level were definitely not terrible. There isn’t much to complain about here. Open 24 Hours is a solid effort that gets the job done. It would play well at festivals and even though it may not wow everyone, it’s a great way to spend seven minutes.
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