The WTF Shorts at Tribeca 2019 all live up to the collection’s title, but not all for the same reason.
|Director(s)||Aly Migliori, Lance Edmands, Arron Blake, Darius Shu, Drew Denny, Shannon Kohli, Yiguo Chen, Colin Bishopp|
|Screenplays By||Aly Migliori, Lance Edmands, Sarah Tihany, Arron Blake, Darius Shu, Drew Denny, Hannah Levien, Yiguo Chen, Colin Bishopp|
|Genre(s)||Comedy, Horror, Drama, Thriller|
|Good If You Like||Comedy With Scary Moments
Movies Which Make You Want To Yell At The Screen
Shorts You Would Want To Donate To For A Full-Length Movie
|Isn’t For You If You||Don’t Like When Films Are Really Obscure (Only Applies To His Hands)|
|?||Jerry Chih-Wei Huang|
|Mary Alice||Mary Alice|
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Twist Plot Summary
Hannah is a young girl, likely a teenager, who unfortunately works the late shift at an ice cream shop. One which forces her one night to walk home alone when her co-worker can’t drive her. Leading to some creepy guys accosting her and making you worry this child is about to be assaulted.
Whiteout Plot Summary
Jake and Lydia are driving up to a gathering in the middle of a snowstorm and encounter someone in the middle of the road. A person who seems somewhere between a drug addict and zombie and while Jake would rather avoid this person, Lydia decides to jump in because that’s who she is. Leading to a lot of arguments as she tries to get further and further involved and the cops eventually getting involved.
His Hands Plot Summary
It’s hard to say what is happening in His Hands. Either an old man buys a sex worker and is into some kinky things, or an old man buys a sex worker who plans to rob and kill him. It is kind of up for interpretation.
Momster Plot Summary
It’s Angel’s birthday, and all she really wants to do is get the hell away from this man who not only underpays her but might be coercing her to have sex so she won’t end up homeless. Yet, there is hope! Hope that one day her “Momster” will remember her and save her. That is, if she stops long enough from robbing banks to do so.
Hunting Season Plot Summary
It’s a dark and lonely night for Callie. One in which she is working at some desolate gas station as there is a monster on the loose. A monster that, with the lights flickering, going off even, drives you to wonder if Callie may survive the night?
11: 50 Plot Summary
A man hits someone with his car and robs him, finding drugs and also cops. Leading to said man ending up on the run only to meet what becomes an expected fate.
Snaggletooth Plot Summary
Sometimes, when you have a child who is unlike the others, and they have to go to the dentist, they need to be restrained. Such is the case for Mary Alice who is having an issue with her teeth and only has a few hours to have a procedure if she wants to get a puppy.
You know when a series of speakers, or in this case shorts, starts with something strong and you think it is all downhill from there? Twist pushes that perception. For like a handful of the highlighted shorts, you feel that this deserves to be a movie, but it is just the creators didn’t have a budget. For between Howard’s performance, how quickly you invest and am scared for her, and wondering if she makes it to the morning unscathed, you’re left wanting more.
Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)
The back and forth between Jake and Lydia was a surprising treat. After all, when you see WTF and things start in a horrific fashion, you expect the weird dude in the road to be a zombie, serial killer, drug addict, etc. However, all that dude ends up being is a prop as you laugh and yell at the screen as Jake, but mostly Lydia, say and do the dumbest things.
Momster feels like an extended clip from an indie comedy. One with this girl, Angel trying to help her possible early onset Alzheimer’s mother remember her. Leading to a nice mix of comedy out of Angel, drama from struggling with a mom who can’t hold onto her memories of her child, and action since they seemingly rob banks to get by.
Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)
It’s all about the build with Hunting Season. Questioning what will this monster look like, will it kill Callie, or whether she might be the monster herself? If not this guy who seemingly liked her in high school. Add in Callie having a bit of a past, and it makes it so when the monster appears, you wonder if her actions may change her life for the better. I mean, there was a nice bounty on it but, at the same time, this being also is known to not just appear to anyone.
But what leads this to being rated positive is that, even without the beast at the end, you can strangely get into this. With Callie clearly trying to get her life back together, after maybe being a high school party girl, it leads to a story you’d want explored more.
Hands down, the best of the night. While not as funny as Whiteout it didn’t have the frustration and with it being the last short, it leaves things on such a high note that I can imagine many forgetting a lot of the rest and this leaving the sole impression. For whether it is Mary Alice, seemingly a vampire, going to the dentist, or the scene when she gets her puppy, there is this brilliant mix of comedy, which I want to say gives What We Do in the Shadows vibes, and horror staples. Making this another film you badly wish was expanded but, rather than a movie, into a series.
Overall: Negative (Acquired Taste)
Most of the shorts took on the WTF label and didn’t take on a grimacing, or an alienating version of the phrase. His Hands was different for it was just weird and with it being a short, there isn’t a lot of context. There is just this old man, a young man who puts on old nobility earrings and lipstick, and next thing you know both are half naked. Making for something which gets a reaction out of you, since it makes you uncomfortable, but in a sea of comedies, leads you want to invest in, and perhaps the familiar, His Hands seems unfairly out of place amongst its peers. Leading to a negative viewpoint since it is such an outlier.
On The Fence
Overall: Mixed (Divisive)
Perhaps the issue with 11:50 is that it feels far too familiar to be interesting. Time loop films just don’t really go well unless you feel invested in the lead, something truly sinister is going on, and they are given time to build interest. Seeing one loop with an unnamed addict, whose personality we don’t get to sink our teeth into, and an odd little girl, just doesn’t give you enough to say this could turn out good or this may not be for me.
In a way, 11:50 feels more like a concept or piece of marketing to show Chen is capable of more and deserves, from his financer, more money to make his finished project. Rather than a finished idea, in short form, made to screen to the public.