Inspired by true events. A nine year old girl disappears and is later found murdered. The movie exploits the events leading up to the death of the girl, why did it happen? What lies beneath? Was the parenting of the young perpetrators to blame or was it their need to be seen. Are they even an invention of the imagination and not real
Another short film. Today we have MY NAME IS A BY ANONYMOUS, written and directed by Shane Ryan. Now this isn’t actually a short film. It’s a long form trailer for a feature film based on the true events concerning convicted teen murderer Alyssa Bustamante.
For those who don’t know, 15 year old Alyssa Bustamante was convicted for the “thrill kill” of her nine year old neighbor, Elizabeth Olten. Through a plea agreement, Alyssa was sentenced in 2012 at the age of 18 to life with the possibility of parole.
This film isn’t so much about the events for which she was convicted, but focuses on the circumstances that may have led to those events. An examimation of sorts into the factors that contributed to her actions on that fateful day.
In the film, the part of Alyssa is played by actress Katie Marsh, a former competitive dancer and cheerleader who has appeared in a few other short subjects. It’s hard to really judge her performance from such short clips. What I will say is that she looks so close to the real person, that I had to actually look up photos of Alyssa to make sure this wasn’t a found footage film.
There is a lot of hate out there for this film. Considering the subject matter, which I can see being very polarizing, I can imagine that Mr. Ryan’s position on this case may be unpopular. Mr. Ryan has long been a public advocate for Ms. Bustamante. However, I watch a lot of Investigation Discovery (my partner calles it “murder p**n”) and I am of the opinion that there is so much more to stories like this than most of us looking from the outside will ever know. If the purpose of a film trailer is to make viewers interested in seeing the film, then I would say this trailer succeeded in that objective.Whether you agree with the filmmaker’s position or not, the film certainly seems like something worth watching.
So using my special short scale of one to five, five being awesome, I’m giving this film (trailer) 2 stars.