Make It Stop fades in on a typical scene. A troubled man (Jacob Miller) visits his psychiatrist (Ally Trasher). The man is in the final stages of losing his grip on reality, fearful of an entity that continues to pursue him. The Therapist suggests a radical turn in therapy. What happens next is delicious nightmare fuel. Writer-director Ryan Valdez delivers another finely crafted short that ends all too soon while telling a quick story that leaves us hungry for more.
The patient complains of hearing voices and whispers. He asks the Psychiatrist to Make It Stop. The Dr. reasons with her patient and discusses isolating the five senses; sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste. While her patient is hesitant he does agree to a trial session. The lights are switched to a monochromatic red, the patient’s eyes are carefully secured shut, and sound-canceling headphones are placed on the patient. The psychiatrist is hoping to suss out any metaphorical demons her patient might have. It’s too bad for her that things become literal.
I can say that both Miller and Trasher are fine as the patient and psychiatrist. Veterans of the Los Angeles immersive scene, the two actors know how to build a world in a sentence of dialogue. Trasher is fully believable as the pragmatic psychiatrist who is facing the unexplainable while Miller handles his part with the same frayed energy that he has become known for.
Make It Stop plays like the cold opening for a much grander story. We have a setup, a sudden, very surreal supernatural moment, and a cut to black just when things become interesting. Valdez and his team shoot a good movie that looks as polished as anything Blumhouse might churn out. The problem is that, here we are, we have a ghastly scene, and nothing more. Give us more!
Valdez and crew deliver a crisp, polished short that delivers jolts with a classy patina of a feature thriller.
|Make It Stop