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Short Film Theater: ‘Bad Things’

— by ADAM POYNTER —

It’s time for another look at a promising short film from an up-and-coming indie film director. This time, we are examining a seven-minute short called “Bad Things” from Miles Trahan, who wrote, produced and directed this short.

Watch it and then we can discuss it.

BAD THINGS | Short Film | Dir. Miles Trahan (2011) from Magnificent Waste on Vimeo.

With no backstory or set-up of where these two characters came from, or how this scenario came to be, we are thrown right into the end of an interesting turn of events. Peter (Ryan Castro) and Paul (Justin Serrano) arrive at a back road, splattered in blood, and then take a dead body out of the trunk and begin to dig a hole to bury it. It is during this labor that they begin to banter back and forth. Religion, conscience, and Heaven and Hell all come into play. As Peter (Castro) begins to question the outcome of their actions and starts to have an attack of his conscience, Paul (Serrano) seems just fine in accomplishing what they came there to do.

As the majority of the dialogue and burden of emotions rest on Castro’s shoulders, it is him that I feel had the stand-out role in this short film. Serrano does well with the detachment his character has, but I found myself watching the character of Peter more than Paul. The dialogue seems genuine and fair and there is realism in the situation and in Peter’s philosophical questions. Death is a traumatic event and when you are the cause of it, there is bound to be some emotional turmoil. Overall, I was intrigued by this short and would have liked to know more about these characters back stories.

Although “Bad Things” did enlighten us to some of the ideas and internal emotions that Peter and Paul feel, there are so many questions that are raised after you watch it that I felt bothered not knowing the answers to them. Why were they burying the body behind houses in the middle of a road? Their shirts looked to be matching dress shirts, did they work together? Who was the dead body and how did they come to kill him?

As it was a stand-alone short, we won’t be getting the answers. But the primary reason for a short film is to give you a story in a limited amount of time and get you to think, and “Bad Things” did just that for me.

So what did you think of “Bad Things?” Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

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2 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Chris #
    1

    This is pretty great

  2. Nathaniel #
    2

    Wow this short was great and shows alot of promise for the director. I liked it.



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