New Short Old Glass
Patrick Rea is a really prolific filmmaker. In addition to making feature length films (see “The Empty Acre”), he’s constantly making quirky short films. His passion clearly skews in favor of horror influenced by “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery.” Recently, he sent me two of his short’s, “Emergency Preparedness” and “Café at the Crossroads.” Both films are a step forward for Rea in that they will appeal to a wider more mainstream audience.
This “War of the Worlds” take features a man (John Wilson) who has barricaded himself in his apartment while dark forces mill about outside trying to get in. He listens to the radio that’s broadcasting reports of some kind of invasion. The man has booby trapped his place and is preparing to do battle with whatever is outside.
This kind of thing has been done before. Besides the Spielberg adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic, M. Night Shyamalan did this effectively in “Signs.” And Rea’s film borrows from the classic stories to produce an entertaining, albeit not terribly fresh, version. Of course, the reason “Emergency Preparedness” works is that it is a short film and captures the most exciting moments of the aforementioned films. Wilson (who has appeared in Rea’s films before, most notably in his feature “The Empty Acre”) is very convincing here, playing the central character tweaked but not so much so that it is distracting.
Filmed on high definition video, Rea gets the most out of his technology. Like his other productions, the film looks terrific certainly better than its diminutive budget. Like the other short film, “Café at the Crossroads,” Patrick Rea has the makings of a good anthology collection with these shorts.