Isolated in a place where twisted creatures torment him from the dark, a man desperately tries to find an escape
Although this short film was made on a mere $3000 budget, it was wonderfully shot and puts even some feature length films to shame! The action cuts in straight away, before the audience even has a chance to question what is going on – there is a man running, scared for his life, with a monster (we only get to see flailing tentacles) intent on attacking him. I must admit, I did find myself getting immediately gripped by No Way Out, but unfortunately my attention did wane after a little while. It was at this point that things started to get very weird; a crazy monster angry for human blood, I can buy, but a man who starts to cut his own head open? Now, that stretches me a tad too tight for my liking, especially as there doesn’t seem to be a coherent plot to speak of.
I suppose that No Way Out does manage to have a ‘universal appeal’ due to the rather vague storyline and lack of dialogue. Whilst this does help to broaden its target audience (for example, by having no specific cultural or political stances), it does leave one wanting a few more answers to the questions raised during it. One which instantly springs to mind being, what the hell is going on here?! I do find it admirable, however, that the filmmakers managed to do so much with so little. It is the sign of a good director who is able to use what he can to create something that he wants to, without feeling obliged to bend to the ‘rules’, as it were.
Kristoffer Aaron Morgan, the director of No Way Out, claimed that the film is ‘very abstract’ (I don’t dispute this at all!) and that ‘in short subject, you can really force people to think more than tap dancing on the tip of their nose’. I do fully appreciate this sentiment, but I can’t help but feel that some more explanation was required with this one. Sure, every viewer can put their own interpretations on it, but it is always nice to have a definitive answer to things. The director also stated that he wanted No Way Out to be a ‘simple, visual horror poem about being paralyzed by your own thoughts.’ I think that the film worked effectively at achieving this goal, and just goes to show how warped Kristoffer Aaron Morgan’s mind really is!
Oh, and perhaps an important final note to make – be prepared for plenty of gore crammed into these ten minutes! The brutality of the violence (a large portion of it self-inflicted!) made for some disturbing viewing, which certainly lingers on the brain for a while afterwards (Brain is actually a rather poignant word when talking about No Way Out – once you watch it, you’ll understand!). Although we don’t see a great deal of the ‘monster’, I couldn’t help being reminded of the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist whilst watching. Indeed, if you are a horror fan (and specifically horror shorts), then do give some time to No Way Out because it’s different (to say the least), and I guarantee it’s one which you won’t forget in a hurry.
No Way Out (short film) (2011)