What should a short film do? There are many answers, but one of the things it should do is leave you wanting more, much more.
Laboratory Conditions does that and then some. It obviously helps a lot that the writer is Oscar nominated Terry Rossio (The Pirates Of The Caribbean films, The Lone Ranger, Shrek and more).
It also helps that it stars Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler, Spider-Man: Homecoming), Minnie Driver (Grosse Point Blank, Good Will Hunting) and Paulo Costanzo (Joey (TV), Road Trip), good actors always help a movie, no matter the length.
Laboratory Conditions sees Tomei, as a nurse, looking for her elderly patient. As she steps outside she notices an ambulance behaving oddly and decides to follow it.
This leads her to a laboratory where she finds her patient, on the brink of death, about to be wheeled into a strange looking metal room.
Costanzo and Driver inform Tomei that they are in the midst of an experiment to capture the exact moment the human soul leaves the body after death. This metal room is sealed and monitored from every conceivable angle.
Reluctantly Tomei agrees to let them perform the experiment. However, at the point of death, Tomei can see things the others can’t, she can see things that we shouldn’t see. Will the others believe her? What will she do with the information?
Behind the camera is Jocelyn Stamat (Turbo Dates (TV)) who performs duties admirably, stripping things back, there’s little movement and little music or sound, noticeable but it adds to the atmosphere.
Both Tomei and Driver are great and Costanzo’s face is perfect as he begins to understand what has occurred and what they may have done. Tomei is deliciously evil.
Laboratory Conditions has obviously had some money thrown at it, the effects are very well done, but if this is a teaser for a feature length film then count me in. I want to see the full version, I want to know what happens next, I want to see more, more, more.