Welcome witches and warlocks,

Today I will be reviewing the weird comedy short byefurnow by writer/director Michael Elliott Dennis. To best describe the story, I will turn to the promotional material:

“A bereaved pet owner, on the suggestion of a stranger in a bar, resorts to a mobile app to help him find closure.”

Fair warning, those who dislike costumed mascots are bound to be freaked out by this short as the animals are portrayed by people in mascot outfits. Granted, this also provides a lot of the humor as they exploit this for such visual gags as a man dressed as a fish flailing in a bath tub or the bereaved owner playing with his oversized, mascot looking cat. Basically, this means that people’s reactions to the humor will vary, but I found it to be mostly amusing thanks to its overstated ridiculousness.

The acting felt on point from the grieving pet owner, to his best friend, to the mysterious man at the bar. Our lead does the majority of the heavy lifting by giving this silly concept a straight faced performance. Without him acting as the anchor, this could have just spiraled off into the either and been an entertaining, but forgettable short. Thankfully, his grounded performance is what makes this click into place as the seriousness he treats this full grown adults dressed as animals with adds some real punch to the concept.

From a plot standpoint, it is as simple and silly as it sounds. There is one minor twist, but even that is pretty well telegraphed for the audience so it comes across more as an inevitably comedic touch. I will say that the finale was amusing as I thought it did a great job commenting upon contractual fine print and the app culture that has sprung up in recent years.

All in all, this is a fun little short with a very bizarre conceit. Thanks to a straight faced performance from our lead and the memorable visual of a man dressed as a cat playing with kitty toys, this is sure to stick in people’s mind long after the credits. Fans of mascots or those who love their animals too much to let go will probably find this amusing.

Nightmarish Detour

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