Rob (Conor Marren) wakes up in the middle of some woods, without any recollection of how he got there. He has a nasty cut on his head and, as the blood runs down his face, he screams for help. Not a sound comes back. He starts to aimlessly wander through the woods and stumbles on a desolate town. In one of the houses he looks in, “The Devil Cannot Tempt Me With What I Do Not Desire” is scribbled on the walls, in blood. We’re shown he’s well-educated in Common Sense 101 because he gets the hell out of there.
While walking back through the woods trying to retrace his steps, vague memories of his wife (Emma Eliza Regan) float in his head. He remembers she’s pregnant. He remembers the phone lines were down when she was trying to make a call. Things are starting to come back to him. Something catastrophic happened, but he can’t remember what.
Rob, the atmosphere of the village and woods (which become a character itself), and the score collectively make a strong trio of suspense. Our focus is contained because we are curious where this guy is going to end up, and why he’s landed in the middle of nowhere, bloodied, bruised, and confused. As the story progresses, our curiosity shifts to where this wife of his, that he keeps thinking back on, has ended up. Something’s definitely not right, and as things begin to unfold, it starts to eat at him.
Out There was written, directed, edited, and co-produced by Randal Plunkett. In just a 16 minute running time, Plunkett has managed to successfully make a slow burn horror short with a brilliant pay off. The most frustrating things about slow burn films is when the audience feels cheated at the end, but this one does not disappoint.
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