Don't Text Back

****

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Talking it over
"Don't Text Back looks much more polished that one would expect on its small budget." | Photo: True Sweetheart Productions

If you came to suspect that you were under the influence of malign magic, where would you turn for help?

This is a new experience for Kelly (Danielle Lapointe). It's a consequence of hooking up with the wrong guy on Tinder, something which we come to suspect is not a new experience. unsure where else to turn, she visits her local New Age witch (Nancy Webb). She's uncomfortable as soon as she enters the apartment. The crystals and the whale sounds suggest that this is not going to be helpful. The witch, however, has some other ideas and as Kelly opens up to her, she realises that this is a problem which needs to be tackled at its root.

Copy picture

Kaye Adelaide and Mariel Sharp's delightful short film, which screened at Fantasia 2020, is partly a comedy, partly a meet cute and partly an expression of feminist exasperation at many women's ongoing willingness to put up with bullshit from entitled men - in this case musician Will, who won't stop texting. Its charm lies in its characters, who may seem to come from different worlds but are ultimately pretty good at understanding one another, when they decide it's worth the effort. We learn a lot about them in just a few minutes thanks to committed performances and a tightly written script which also has plenty of narrative drive.

Beautifully shot and making great use of the limited space in the directors' apartment, Don't Text Back looks much more polished that one would expect on its small budget. Simple set design and smart framing build up atmosphere well and give it the energy it needs to make the story work. The punchline may also be simple but it delivers well and Adelaide and Sharp know better than to make everything depend on it. This is an impressive piece of work from two filmmakers at an early stage in their careers who clearly have a lot more to offer.

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2020
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A woman seeks help after a supernatural gift starts to do her harm.

Director: Mariel Sharp, Kaye Adelaide

Year: 2020

Runtime: 10 minutes

Country: Canada

Festivals:

Fantasia 2020

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