Prolific director Matt Kravitsky (“Innosense (Short)”, “Linkin Park: In The End (Short)”) was kind enough to send us his latest short movie, The Chrysalis, for review.
Made for just $12,000, Kravitsky uses his budget well though doesn’t stop short of being ambitious in his storytelling either.
It’s a cold, affair with a killer soundtrack, and, whilst well directed, it does lose focus in the latter third and tend to jump around a little too much, but The Chrysalis is a very good calling card for this writer and director.
Starring Maggie Wetzel (“Dog People (TV)”, “The Recipe”) and Nicole Paige Chaffin (“Aquaculture (Short)”) as two sisters on their way to Canada for a bonding session, The Chrysalis is part mystery, part thriller with a healthy dose of who-do-you-trust thrown in.
On the cold, snowy road to Canada, the sisters end up with a flat tire and no tool to change to the spare. So they decide to walk and try to find shelter, coming upon a monolithic building in the middle of nowhere, they decide it’s better than freezing to death outside.
The building seems to be an abandoned theatre, complete with dressing up clothes, pretzel cart, even some abandoned vehicles. It also looks like they aren’t the only ones there.
Sure enough, they aren’t, for Brain Dole (“Black Mass“, “27 Dimensions (Short)”), is in there having run-away for ‘personal reasons’, he convinces the girls to stay and wait out the storm.
After plenty of alcohol and Chaffin taking a particular interest in Dole, Wetzel wakes and, with a curious big-sister mind, investigates a few things that have been bugging her. What she finds changes everything, and suddenly the pair are in a very different situation than the one they thought.
The opening third of The Chrysalis is a triumph, Kravitsky showcases his camera work and writing and it is a joy to watch. The middle third sees Kravitsky more than convince that he could shoot a music video or two and all three actors have some fun as a pounding beat ups the stakes.
All of this is great, the strangeness is dropped in lightly, but you know something isn’t quite right with Dole, there’s more than he’s telling, or not telling.
Sadly, when it comes time for the big reveal, it’s all a little rushed and attempts to divert our attention from the twist narrowly miss the mark. Had the music scene, which whilst nicely shot and performed, feels a little superfluous, been swapped out for some longer time over the build-up to the ending, I think it would have worked a lot better.
The Chrysalis is a good short film, it certainly showcases Kravitsky’s use of the camera and that he and his team can make a relatively small budget go a long way. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of his work soon.