Static, directed by Todd Levin, keeps the viewer guessing. With 12 minutes remaining, I still had no idea what kind of movie I was watching.
Static works, ultimately, in the end. It works pretty darn well. However, the journey to bring it to this culmination is probably where most viewers will turn off or tune out. While the film only runs 1 hour 15 minutes, the first hour seriously circles around from genre to genre, over and over again. At first, when a young girl (Sarah Paxton) shows up at the home of married couple Jonathan (Milo Ventimiglia) and Addie (Sarah Shahi), fleeing from ‘someone’ in the secluded woods surrounding them, films like The Strangers come to mind. Then, Jonathan dresses a cut on stranger Rachel’s hand, intimately discussing details of the death of his song. With infidelity being discussed in previous scenes, even more films come to mind that could give a sense of where the film is going. And, as gas mask wearing intruders begin to hunt the couple, after Rachel insists upon staying the night, the movie begins its spiral, where it jumps between horror and thrillers. With the use of a constant sound of static emanating throughout these scenes, sometimes stronger, sometimes not, there is a question of whether the film could possibly be ghost or even alien related.
It is those final 12 minutes that ultimately answer that question. First, in a very cheap sense, which is briefly seen in the opening credits, then answered more fully and complete, with a cameo by William Mapother. It is those few brief minutes after the first ending of the movie that push Static from being a cheap meaningless film, to something greater. It is those few brief minutes of a true ending that make the viewer reflect on the events that have happened, and come to terms with them.
The shameful thing about Static is that the entire hour before this pleasing culmination is just a bit too blah to make it a fully magnificent film. Perhaps if a few more hints were given throughout, with less focus on distracting the viewer into thinking it is something it is not, Static would be more satisfying. Yet, if blatant explanation was forced upon the viewer throughout the movie, more than likely the ending scene, with Rachel explaining the events of the film, would completely lose the weight it has. While flawed in its own way, with good acting and a short runtime, Static ultimately delivers to patient viewers.