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Monday, 17 February 2014

ICE (2013)

Director: Adam Coppola
Star: Melissa Farley
This film was an official selection at the Jerome Indie Music & Film Festival in Jerome, AZ in 2013. Here's an index to my reviews of 2013 films.
Like Alone, another local short film without an IMDb page that played the Holy Moly Horror Shorts set at the Jerome Indie Film & Music Festival, ICE is intriguing but not for the usual reasons. In fact, ICE is more notable for what it doesn't do than what it does. It doesn't have a plot, for a start, just a very personal account of the discovery that a particular urban legend is real, but with none of what might have come before it and not a heck of a lot of what comes after. Given the simple one word title, it's no stretch to figure out which one. ICE only features a single set, a very confined one which we never leave, and only one actress, Melissa Farley, here credited without her usual middle names. She doesn't get any lines, just fraught utterances as she discovers what's happened to her. She does get to act though, because that's almost all this film gives us: her acting performance as she reacts to her discovery and attempts to escape it. Fortunately she does a fine job because, if she didn't, this would have been empty.
And enough with the vague hints, this is the urban legend where you wake up in a bathtub of ice with a surgical scar where your kidney used to be. You're shocked, right? Well, surprise is clearly not what this short is aiming for, but I'm not sure what it is aiming for. It's shot with some style, the camera panning around the abundant layered graffiti in this particular bathroom before it finds the girl in the cheap tub, one of those huge plastic things you can buy at Home Depot. The set's well created and decorated, but it's not what we're here to see. We're here to see this young lady wake up and react, which she does in a thoroughly believable manner for someone whose lips are blue from the cold. Something is going on at the end of the film, but I'm not sure if it's a twist, an emphatic period or the trigger for everything to become a metaphor. It made me wonder if the camera movement as the end credits roll is traditional or not. In fact, the entire film may just be an exercise in placement. It's well done but inconsequential.

Oh, and I presume the title is in capitals because it adds a second meaning of In Case of Emergency. Maybe ICE is a PSA.

ICE can be watched for free on YouTube or Mindplate.

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