SFotD: ‘Deadline’ is a Disturbingly Quick Clean-Up Job

Why Watch? A troubled man stares down at the portrait of a beautiful young woman before tearing into the bedsheets, attacking a dirt-covered bathroom and nervously clearing the carnage in the kitchen. It’s not clear what’s going on, but it seems like he’ll be in deep shit if he doesn’t get his work done in time.

Built by an atmospheric drone of music, overexposed whites and editing meant to keep the viewer off-balance, this short from Alexander van Walsum is a strong example of creating the kind of unease that makes you scratch at your neck like an addict, in spite of (or because of) narrative uncertainty. It’s also a lesson in dramatic expectations and a payoff that comes when our only human entry point takes great care in placing a heavily-wrapped object into his second garbage bag and drags the pair toward the apartment door. It’s a pulse check with a wink and a great story told very, very quickly.

What will it cost you? Only 2 minutes.

Skip work. Watch more short films.


A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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