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By Mark Bell | September 10, 2013

A man (Kyle Filippelli) and woman (Alex Franke) wander in in the middle of nowhere, short on water, heading to a destination some forty miles away. The man seems less hardy than his female counterpart, who is obviously the brains and backbone of the operation and, unfortunately for him, she’s running out of patience with her companion.

To jump right into it, my biggest issue with Alex Gardels’ short film The In Between was an unclear narrative, made all the more confusing due to an audio mix that wasn’t always balanced. This resulted in missing precisely what our two characters were saying in some important moments, and since they don’t say much about what’s going on, it also means missing revelations that otherwise shape the story.

And that first time watching it, I ended up completely lost. So I gave it another watch, this time turning the volume up even higher in certain important spots, particularly around the climax, replaying until I thought I understood. Frankly, I don’t know that the average viewer is going to go through all the effort of watching and re-watching, nor should they have to do so, even if it is a short film. For me, the failings with the audio mix are a pretty huge negative for the film.

Even once I knew what was being said, though, it didn’t make everything peachy. I would’ve preferred a little more context for what initially set them off wandering, and to where they were heading. It seems needlessly vague, and so I never truly connected, which makes it all the more forgettable.

Which is a shame, because the film does look good, and the rhythm of the edit is strong; the score is also a plus too, even if it is a little heavy-handed. I just don’t know that the quality of those elements add up to much of anything. Unfortunately, the ultimate takeaway from The In Between was that I wasn’t clear on the story. I know they were wandering, they were low on supplies and the entire adventure ends badly for one of them. The rest remains a mystery.

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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