Sunday 22 July 2012

The Table (2011)

Director: Shane Free
Stars: Matt Kawczynski, Dan Homeijer and Whitney Wellner
This film was an official selection at the 8th annual International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival in Scottsdale in 2012. Here's an index to my reviews of 2012 films.
A couple of guys explore an antique table that one bought at an estate sale, an antique table with a very deliberate hole in the middle. Now, if that doesn't already conjure up the entire rest of this short film, then you really aren't paying attention and I have some beachfront property in Arizona that I'd really like to sell you. Yes, they fiddle around with it. Yes, one of them sticks his head up inside the hole. Yes, the other one closes the table around him. And... oh, c'mon, you honestly need help here? This pair of idiots really do deserve everything they get, but at least the stupidity that they wear like overalls is countered just a little by a young lady called Christie who reads the instructions. Well, she heads online to translate them. They are in French, after all. Oh, and handwritten. Inside a leather bound book. How many flags are going up here? Dude! There are pictures! And yet... well, let's just say that this is an exercise in inevitability.

Fortunately it only has five minutes to run and, outside of being as obvious as it gets, it unfolds pretty well. For a start, the table looks awesome, though the screws are a little anomalous. If I'd have been at that estate sale, I'd have outbid this moron for sure, though I'd like to think that I'd notice the weight of the thing. The acting isn't even close to subtle but it fits the material; the delivery of 'Dude! Put your head up through!' is never going to be better, but Dan Homeijer and Matt Kawczynski are as overt as the outcome and Whitney Wellner can only add a little more subtlety. With the ending telegraphed from the very beginning, tension becomes of paramount importance and Shane Free, who directed and co-wrote, does a capable job on that front. It's continually obvious what's going to happen, though little details of how are fed gradually into proceedings, but we are kept interested wondering who's going to do it and when.

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