Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Get Well Soon (2011)

This odd but satisfying psychological horror short is an interesting and nightmarish look at the deterioration of the marriage between its two sole characters, Theodore and Janet (Gresby Nash and Laura Howard). With its claustrophobic home interior setting, the film maintains a consistent tone as we witness a sort of aftermath to Theodore’s bout with breast cancer, now in remission. Contrary to what should be a good thing, the story takes a more downbeat approach as things seem fairly depressing, instead, with the couple apparently growing distant after Janet discovers she is pregnant. Being disappointed by her pregnancy causes Janet to realize that she truly isn’t happy with her marriage anymore, and so she decides to keep the pregnancy from her husband. The idea of feeling trapped is brought out remarkably well with Janet locking herself in the bathroom as a way of escape.

Theodore learns of the pregnancy after overhearing Janet talking on the phone to a friend. It ends up being real hard on him to know that Janet is deliberately keeping the news about their child from him. As events unfold in a days-of-the-week progression, he undergoes a kind of mental degradation. With the cinematography on display during Theodore’s decline, I could almost feel his inebriation when he starts to go heavy on the drugs and alcohol. The horror elements of the film start to come out more as the problem escalates and reality and nightmare start to merge.

GET WELL SOON showcases terrific performances from its two sole actors (I especially loved the chilling way that Laura Howard abruptly switched her facial expression during a key moment that involves her screaming at something off camera). The story by Michael Woodman is engaging and well written, though some viewers might end up with some unanswered questions (being a psychological horror film this is understandable, but I’m interested in knowing if the consistent use of the bathtub symbolized or meant anything). My favorite part consists of an artistically shot nightmare scene that portrays the cause of Theodore’s drug consumption and the effect that this new ordeal is having on him -- a disturbing visual of Theodore resting on Janet’s bosom as she envelops him and feeds him pills. I also enjoyed getting freaked out by the movie’s ending scene, which caused GET WELL SOON to impress me more than I was expecting. It is genuinely scary, and I admire the way Woodman decided to avoid having a predictable ‘guy goes crazy and kills his wife’ ending.

Get Well Soon: Full Movie (14 min and 3 sec)

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