The Package review
Directed by Damon Rickard
Starring Dan Palmer & Tom Gordon
SYNOPSIS: A missing package becomes the subject of increasingly violent tensions between two mysterious colleagues. With their lives on the line, how far are they prepared to go to find it…..or keep it hidden.
Writer/Director Damon Rickard says: "The Package was born through the idea that as a society we are quick to judge a situation based solely on what we see and from that take sides. For example you see someone punch someone else and then start kicking them when they’re down. Naturally your sympathy falls in line with the person you see as the victim. What you don’t know is anything that happened before.
I wanted to play with the idea of joining a situation in the middle of it and utilizing the audience’s presumptions on who the “good guy” is and who the “bad guy” is. I cast the actors specifically as neither one immediately has the look which tends towards one decision. They both could be either and I wanted the narrative to then bring each audience member to their own conclusions. Even at the end you may have differing opinions.
I was also very careful not to let what is in The Package become the focus as this would distract from what I was trying to do in the film. For me The Package is very much like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction however you may or may not get to find out what is inside in this one. The film borders the thriller/horror genres. The horror comes from what they are prepared to do or go through in order to get what they want with the thriller element coming from the building tension between them as the film progresses.
The look of the film is from a very talented crew I assembled including Director of Photography Richard Bell, whom I worked with previously on The Tour. I wanted it to be beautifully lit to showcase the stunning location, which was a disused Victorian fort in Portsmouth, England and I also wanted it to have a slightly washed out look which contrasts the blacks against the location, giving an overall stunning but gritty feel to it."
iLL WiLL's review:
I had the privilege of seeing Damon Rickard's first short film The Tour in my own city when it was doing the festival route last year and I was really impressed by it. His second short film The Package stars Tom Gordon who will be familiar to anyone else who has seen The Tour, and with 2 beautiful scream queens like Jessica Cameron and Heather Dorff stealing all the spotlight I'm sure any actor would've found it hard to shine but Tom didn't fail to impress. After his performance in The Tour I knew The Package would be entertaining.
Also starring in The Package is Dan Palmer who most hardcore horror geeks will recognize from minor cult classics like Freak Out, Evil Aliens and the more recent Stalled. He was even in Edgar Wright's pre-Spaced indie film 'A Fist Full Of Fingers'! The worst thing about trying to review short films is there isn't really much you can say without spoiling some (or all) of the film for people who haven't seen it yet, especially ones like this that are tightly wrapped with a massive twist ending.
What I can say is that it is well written, well directed and well acted, and at just over 14 minutes long it definitely doesn't outstay its' welcome - like all good short films it keeps you wanting for more. I would say it's 'nail biting stuff' but after watching a certain scene in this you wont want to look at your nails for a very long time! Yes, fans of 'torture porn' such as Saw or Hostel will be licking their lips to the various scene of grievous bodily harm and by the end of it you'll be screaming "What's in the package!" louder than Brad Pitt screaming "What's in the box!" at the end of Se7en. I'm sure you'll find what's in 'The Package' far more terrifying than Gwyneth Paltrow's severed head though. Both The Tour and The Package are awesome little shorts that would fit in nicely to a cool anthology series so hopefully Damon makes a few more wicked shorts and they get released on dvd so the world can see them, and deservedly so. Also we really need to see a feature length film from Mr. Rickard, I'm sure with a bigger budget and more time to play with he could create something amazing.