Shorties #21: “The Package”, “Son of Rambow”, “Elephant”, “Hold the Dark”, and “The Blair Witch Project”

This article will have short reviews of the following films in this order: The Package Son of Rambow, Elephant, Hold the Dark, and The Blair Witch Project

The package

It’s way better than the promotional material made it out to be, but then again, the trailers made it look like utter dog shit. It’s just fine in the end. A few of the jokes were funny, the performances were all pretty good, and the cast had great chemistry. The plot does tend to drag at times; it’s really a forty minute idea stretched out to a feature-length film. The soundtrack could also be annoying, much like the dickless character, and the directing wasn’t anything spectacular either. It’s the type of film you’d put on for some background noise, but not something that deserves your attention for its entire running time.

Grade: C+

Son of Rambow

One thing Son of Rambow excels at is having a cast filled with brilliant child performers. There was not one actor that did a terrible job; they were all great or decent at the minimum. The film’s visual presentation was creative and there were a lot of jokes utilizing the visual medium film offers. In general, the jokes were funny and there was a  nice balance of slapstick and verbal comedy. However, there are a few things that I didn’t really like. The director mostly wasn’t afraid to create a ridiculous, fun film, though he sometimes didn’t fully commit to the ridiculousness set up by previous scenes, which could lead to some tonal inconsistencies. I wasn’t entirely on board with some story decisions and there’s a certain character that’s meant to be both funny and annoying, though I found him more to be the latter than the former. They often overemphasize the caricature that his character is for the sake of comedy and conflict, but this didn’t always work out brilliantly and left me frustrated instead. The film’s a lot more fun when the two kids make the film on their own than it is when a whole group joins in. I get that this was the point of everyone wanting to participate, but they focus too much on that aspect, which made the film less fun in those parts. The story also often gets sidetracked by some small side gags, that were funny on their own, but it takes away from the film’s flow.

Grade: B


When speaking of interesting films, Elephant’s certainly not one to be left out. It’s a very daring and artistic film that does a lot of things differently than any other movie. In this film, Gus Van Sant shows us how multiple teenagers experience the same day and he edits these teenagers’ perspectives together in the same trend that Dunkirk did it so that sometimes we can see things from one perspective that have yet to happen in the other. The editing was handled cleverly because even though the different viewpoints take place at different times, there were some overlaps which made you able to make up a chronology of the events. It’s a very realistic film as well, which was mostly because of the authentic performances and the fact that Van Sant filmed a lot of his scenes in one shot. Those long takes gave the film a very slow pace, much like how students experience a school day, but it also gave the film a feeling as if it was building up to something. The thing it’s building up to is teased by some of those overlaps, which then also adds a layer of tension to the film, and again, proves how clever the film was in its editing. I don’t really want to go more in depth than I have already, because it’s one of those films you should go in as blind as possible, just remember that it’s an excellent film, though not for everyone.

Grade: A

Hold the dark

After Blue Ruin and Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier hits us again with another dark and violent thriller, filled with excellent performances and a tense atmosphere. This time, however, it’s more ambitious and experimental than his previous two films, but unfortunately, it’s not as good. The film’s great on most aspects, though some of the characters were far less interesting than the story they were in. They’re given the basis of a character, but the film never really tries to build anything on that basis, nor is that basis all that original to begin with, which doesn’t really make these characters very intriguing. Because the characters are quite flat, you’re most likely going to feel emotionally disconnected from them. However, this isn’t the case for all of the characters; the antagonists were mysterious and a lot surrounding them is kept in the dark, which made them fascinating and unpredictable. And while the story was interesting, it could get messy at times. The soundtrack is also noteworthy, as it was something rather unique, and it helped to give the film a distinct atmosphere.

Grade: B

The blair witch project

The Blair Witch Project is a revolutionary horror film with some brilliant filmmaking. It didn’t particularly scare me all that much, but the impact this film has had is spectacular. The performances felt real and as did the dialogue. The fact that it looks amateurish makes it all feel even more down to earth and the fact that we don’t get to see the villain, not only makes the film a bit more ambiguous, it also makes it scarier, because now it’s up to the viewer to fill in the blanks. Less is more, and The Blair Witch Project knew that.

Grade: A-


6 thoughts on “Shorties #21: “The Package”, “Son of Rambow”, “Elephant”, “Hold the Dark”, and “The Blair Witch Project”

    1. Thanks! “The Package” is about a group of friends that go camping. One of them brings a knife and during their trip, he thinks it’s a brilliant idea to go pee while playing with the knife. His friends go to scare him while he’s peeing, but this causes him to cut off his own penis. They put his penis in a cooling box and the guy is sent to the hospital via helicopter, though the thing is, there were two cooling boxes and they gave the wrong one to the medics. Now the remaining friends have to get the guy’s dick to the hospital in time so that they’re still able to reattach it and “hilarity” ensues 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are a few jokes that are great, but mostly it’s the same thing over again. If you’re a fan of superficial penis jokes, then it’s certainly the film for you, though elsewise, I wouldn’t really recommend it.

        Liked by 1 person

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