Made by an Ex-Marine Corp Infantry Officer (Daniel J. Egbert), ‘There’s something in the trunk.’ is an unusual narrative of a compelling theme. It is a very humane depiction of someone’s very personal conflict and turmoil and the unabashed bearing of their soul for all to see.
With only 3 actors starring in the film, it would be an understatement to say that the performances sustain the plot. We see a lonely road where Clint (Sean Michael Nugent) and Stella’s (Murielle Hilaire) car breaks down. Having little trust in Clint’s abilities to handle the situation, Stella is at her wit’s end. His only attempts doing little to challenge her claim, it is evident as the film progresses that Stella doesn’t think very highly of him. And as the twilight sets in, a car stops by for help; or does it…?
What follows is a series of events that are both brutal and confusing. The passerby who has stopped by to help (Jack played by Matthew David King) isn’t who he seemed. At one point it becomes evident that Jack and Clint are in fact, acquaintances. Stella, a pawn in the ongoing game between the men, is now a victim to the situation. And, as Clint struggles to combat the situation alone, Stella is made to walk the walk of retribution, literally.
But, with the breaking of the dawn, the tides seem to have changed. One look into the trunk and Jack disappears, as if on cue. Clint emerges as the saviour for Stella, after all. It’s very subtle and yet an interesting shift in the dynamics between the characters. Now Clint seems to have the upper hand as he saves a visibly shaken Stella.
Director, writer and editor of the film Daniel J. Egbert, has created this short of 22:52 minutes in duration, as his bachelor’s degree thesis film and couldn’t have picked any better. For a first timer, it is quite something, clearly sealing Egbert’s skill for the future. Sean Michael Nugent as Clint steals your heart with his very moving and vulnerable performance. And, Murielle Hilaire who plays
Cinematographer Casey McBeath lens captures the infinite beauty of the landscape. Every metaphorical character comes to life against its backdrop. Composer Joe Johnson lets very little, albeit impactful score
Without even so much as a dialogue, let alone visual gimmicks, Egbert ensures that you’re made aware of what’s in the trunk; and that in itself is pure genius.#ShortFilmReview: 'There's something in the trunk.' weighs heavier than anticipated… Click To Tweet