CONTACT (2009)

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This powerful short film directed by Jeremiah Kipp creatively explores some the different forms of contact that we might experience in our lives, be it that continued contact with our families, intimate contact with our loved ones, or just having recreational contact with drugs.

Much of the film is told through body language and facial expressions. As such, Zoë Daelman Chlanda and Robb Leigh Davis put in wonderful performances, using few words between them.  In this story, they are a couple named Koreen and Westy, who purchase a strange drug that promises to strengthen their bonds of love.

Unfortunately, something appears to go wrong with the process, and the lovers find a literal connection formed between them.   The makeup work is outstanding, as we see the physical manifestation of their intimate contact take solid form and then break away.  This scene of course leaves you wondering if the joining was intentional.  Perhaps having a shared horrific experience was really what is supposed to bring the users of the drug together. But, it’s equally possible that the lovers used the drug incorrectly?  Or simply that Rowan (played by Alan Rowe Kelly) gave them bad product.

Part of me feels that this experience is meant as a metaphor of love and relationships in general.  Someone once told me that the love that I feel for a person is not the same as the love that you will find from your family.  They told me that in a relationship, you can lose your girlfriend or boyfriend, but you will never lose the love of your family members.  So maybe the experience is meant to mirror Koreen breaking with up her boyfriend after sharing an intimate moment of sex.  And despite losing Westy, she still finds love and security having returned to her parents.

The ending is haunting, allowing the audience to come up with a number of outcome scenarios for themselves.   Is Koreen dying, and reliving her memories?  Or is she returning home, because of what the drug did?  Perhaps, she may even be tripping on the drug still?  Like with any other great classic horror short story, the audience gets to decide for themselves.  This freedom makes watching this film a very enjoyable experience.  When you couple that with the quirky score from Tom Burns of Really Horrible Music, I found a movie which brought me back to those memorable nights watching Tales from the Darkside with the lights turned off.

I give CONTACT a 3.5 out of 5.

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