This installment brings a triple-treat of trepidation. Themes of alienation, and indeterminate stories in indeterminate (even non-linear) realities underpin all three of the excellent shorts in this edition of World of Death.
Starting things off is THE SANDBOX. This stylized vignette is an effective, minimalist look at the last moments of a soldier. One location, two actors, and a simple premise combine to form a strangely engrossing short that illustrates the fear any military person under active deployment must feel from time to time. In a short span – a mere minute – director Casey McDonough illuminates the horrors of armed conflict as effectively as a big-budget action sequence full of gore and chaos.
From the desert, we move to suburbia. A young lady sits in her kitchen, listening to news on the radio while reading related news on her laptop. She rises to grab a snack, an orange, and, we see something quite disturbing outside her window… What follows might be a dream, a flashback or hallucination, but the tone quickly shifts from tension through panic, shock and… the twist ending. Marcia Denice writes and directs three minutes detailing the unraveling of a quiet domestic morning. Be careful… THE KILLER IS INSIDE THE HOUSE!
Finally, we move into the workplace. A dead man sprawls in front of an office building. A woman moves past, dismissing the corpse as a “fucking bum.” Inside lies more butchery, yet the woman is more concerned with the proper use of drink coasters than the carnage. Just this opening sequence could work as a short vignette; the casual selfishness and disregard for humanity is quite effective (my original note for the sequence simply says, “Shit, that’s cold!”). Yet, this ending is only the beginning. HUMAN RESOURCES from writer/director Ryan McGlade resets into a surreal world that takes a little from “Office Space” and a little from “Heathers”, melding them with just a hint of Cronenberg to produce a trippy, disturbing allegory. A host of charming, quirky characters all strive, with varying degrees of success, to ignore their own flaws and insecurities. The core story revolves around insights from the mysterious Ivan Greene. Greene might be a savior, he might be a con man, and he might be in prison for embezzlement (“embezzlement” is pronounced “entrepreneurship”), but his words and philosophies influence and inform the actions of almost all of the cast of colorful characters. Human Resources successfully straddles that fine line where one can combine laugh-out-loud funny gags with cold cruelty.
– Michael Miller
World of Death is the web series that fans of independent horror have been waiting for. Featuring short horror films from all over the globe created by the largest variety of talent that a collection has ever been able to boast, WOD provides plenty of blood, guts, screams and laughs for all fans of the macabre. WOD is the perfect entertainment for a fan base constantly on the go. Watch it anywhere, at any time, for FREE! New episodes premiere the first Wednesday of every month at 10am CST.