It was just yesterday that I unveiled the official trailer for Disengaged, but I was lucky enough to get a private look at the short film. Everyone knows that, in my opinion, it’s hard to judge a short film because it’s so easy to hate it or love it with such a small amount of footage to view. So, what did I think of Disengaged?
Disengaged is written by Eryk Pruitt and directed by Christopher G. Moore. Cast members include Alena Koch (“Mario Warfare”), Katie Carpenter (“It’s Supernatural”), Gilly Conklin, Tracey Coppedge, Lisa Gagnon, Nick Karner (“One Tree Hill”), Jarod Kearney (“Bath Salts”), Jeffrey Moore, Jennifer Pates, and James Rippe.
Disengaged follows the daily life of one woman, the only survivor of a mysterious, plague like virus that freezes all victims in a trance-like state. Each day she must tend to the stoic figures, not only hoping that she can save them but hoping for others’ safe return, too. Each day her mind grows a little more weary, each day she grows a little more insane.
My first thought after viewing this movie was, “Damn! This should be made into a feature film!” The idea is genuine and unique. We’ve all seen zombie films. We’ve all seen mysterious illness films before. We’ve never seen them smooched together and we’ve never seen them so intriguing. This short film leaves a lot to the imagination with not a lot of theories ever being explained. Why did the city block free into place like statues? Was it aliens? Where is the rest of the block? Is it a worldwide epidemic? Why did the lone woman – played by Alena Koch – somehow survive the event? Forget keeping the viewer interested, Disengaged keeps viewers enthralled! There is so much here that I would love to see expanded into a feature length film. Please?
The second thing that stuck me the most is how professional looking Disengaged is. I give particular credit to Christopher G. Moore (director), Ismail Abdelkhalek (cinematographer), Meredith Sause (assistant director), and Mariah Smith and Angela Pritchett (special effects make-up). Together, the team has crafted a visually near-pefect film. I was already proud of Moore’s work in his last short, Foodie, but he’s certainly taken his skills as a filmmaker to the next level. Often in independent filmmaking, it goes – tripod, camera, record button – with little to no thought involved. The difference between an amateur filmmaker and an independent filmmaker is the amount of preproduction and effort put into the product. I can tell that hours were spent framing each shot. The way the characters move, the spots where they are placed, it’s obvious to me as a reviewer that they sat behind the camera mapping out each shot before rolling. I’m very impressed.
It’s hard for me to critique the acting performances here because there’s so little to go on. Besides the lead of Alena Koch, all the other cast members delivered one or two lines in flashbacks before being frozen. I can say 100% that everyone did a great job with the role they were given, and that – again – with a feature length adaption, it would be nice to maybe see the same actors return and really show off their chops. Also, this leads me to the script by Eryk Pruitt. Not only was the script ingenious, but Eryk did a good job at establishing the frozen-zombies as people instead of living statues. Major props to his resourceful writing.
There’s nothing left for me to say here. Clearly I loved Disengaged. I’m going to give it a 9 out of 10.