By Amy R. Handler | April 23, 2014

In any burgeoning romance, it seems that the need for money always gets in the way.

Joseph Marconi’s newest short film, The Wood House, tells the story of a teen romance that goes horribly awry. The couple in question are Jonah and Mercy— two kids whose love affair evolves as they prepare to run away from their small town ties— and the families that strive to control their every move.

Mercy’s mother could probably be called overbearing and protective— understandable but taboo traits when raising a young girl with an exploratory independent-streak, and dreams of starting her own fashion-line. While Mercy considers her mother a pain, she certainly does not hate her. Jonah, on the other hand, must constantly fend off and flee a physically abusive father and the cowering mother who never protects him. In Jonah’s case, hate for his father is at an all-time high, and leaving home is a must.

When Jonah asks Mercy to leave town with him, she’s at first very unsure. However, after a triple dose of her mother’s nagging and upon receipt of a rejection letter from the fashion school she hopes to attend, Mercy feels vulnerable and hopeless enough to agree to join Jonah. The young couple set off down the road, he astride his bicycle, toting the WW2 gas mask of his deceased grandfather, and she on foot. Happily and disagreeably, Jonah and Mercy argue about where they will live. He wants to live in a small town and she wants to live in exciting Paris, where she can live fashion to its fullest, and lounge in cafes. As they near the tiny fast food restaurant where Jonah works for his father, Jonah tells Mercy to wait for him outside, while he retrieves the money his father owes him. It is that moment when Jonah enters the restaurant that everything changes instantaneously.

I have to say that I love everything about The Wood House, from its moody-innocence, to the film’s beautiful screenplay, seamless direction, outstanding acting of all concerned, and fluid camera moves. Notwithstanding the fact that The Wood House‘s fifteen-minute duration moves in a flash and leaves me yearning for more—always a huge plus in any story. Most of all, I love the film’s shocking ending which is a bit ambiguous and open ended, raising questions about the characters, and ourselves, should we find ourselves in similar circumstances. I strongly suggest viewing Joseph Marconi’s very strong and compelling The Wood House.

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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