Why Watch? After a motorcycle accident that leaves her without an arm, a young woman seems to be doing relatively fine, but her boyfriend isn’t handling it so well. In this excellent short film from Alex Grigg, Phantom Limb Syndrome affects the person whose body is still in tact, but whose mind begins playing cruel tricks on him.
This is a powerful experience. Visually, it’s a beautiful mix of acrylic-style detail and striking minimalism that creates a dreamy environment in which a nightmare can thrive.
As for the story, it’s told without words, wisely leaving the heavy lifting to symbols of the couple’s relationship and of their willingness to connect. What’s more, even though we see the horror of what’s happening to him, we feel exactly what she’s feeling as well. There’s a balance that makes the problem heavier and the resolution more important. It isn’t a shared psychosis, but it’s a shared reality.
Ultimately, what stands out most about this poignant short film is its ability to weave a metaphor or guilt cleanly into the real world. What the young man sees isn’t a problem hidden away in the shadows of his mind, but a manifestation that acts directly upon him and the person he cares most about.
What Will It Cost? About 4 minutes.