FILTERED *** Canada 2021 Dir: Vincenzo Nappi. 5 mins
Reading this review maybe longer than the film. Writing short fiction or today’s Flash Fiction is hard to do. There is no padding the story, events must be direct with a sledgehammer ending. With that in mind, I was taken aback when I first began running FILTERED by fellow Canadian Vincenzo Nappi on my computer. The picture opens up with a computer sign on screen followed by a seamless transformation to a desktop that is the major background for the film.
FILTERED (2021) becomes part of the subgenre of film that casts social interaction in a demonic light. This is not unlike the slasher films of the 80s, when the basic premise was ‘Have sex and die.’ Clearly this film is aimed at that market, where social apps become the release mechanisms of evil, giving Ouija board films a run for their money.
Jasmine (Jasmine Winter) just wants to talk to her buddy Marco (Marco Carreiro) after a long day at work in a thankless customer service job. She sits in the dark, waiting to have that conversation. Marco appears, ready and happy faced, and hiding the fact he is going to the bathroom as they speak. It is apparent to this viewer yet oddly not to Jasmine in the film. The fact becomes known as he tends to operations off camera and the two have a good laugh. They do small talk and Marco decides to use video filters to cheer her up. Those filters that transform your face into cartoons, animals and confound certain politicians who cannot turn them off when on a video meeting. The laughs appear to do the trick but they also bring something else. Things that literally go ‘bump in the night’ show up on screen.
FILTERED (2021) homages THE EXORCIST (1973) in a moment of horrid resolution bringing the terror of random evil. The William Friedkin film struck best because the involved parties – both Regan and her mother – had no connection with spiritual evil. This film does well with the actors relating well, or as I suspect, adlibbing dialogue. The performers are engaging, and the technical aspects are effective. Like a filter, though, the film leaves you slightly empty at the end.
FILTERED (2021) is successful to a point, thanks mainly to the on screen actors who work well together. It is like a hors d’oeuvre or an aperitif before dinner. You want more. You want a payoff; for the sledgehammer to drop. One has to settle the bill eventually, and this film is the patron who ran out before the credit card machine could be handed over.
Review by Terry Sherwood