The latest short horror film SEEK from Aaron Morgan made its regional premiere debut at FilmQuest 2020 (because the pandemic pushed back the official 2020 festival date). The short itself takes you on a journey from start to finish. Honestly, it will make you reconsider every stopping off to an unknown public space to tinkle. You are also guaranteed to scream at the protagonist onscreen in the brief time you get with her.
The short follows two sisters, Heidi (Allisyn Ashley Arm) and Jordan (Clare Grant), stopping briefly at a rundown roadside bathroom. A frustrated Jordan waits in the car while her sister goes to relieve herself, having held things in while they’ve driven all night. The rundown bathroom gives off all sorts of heeby-jeebies. However, all bets are off with a full bladder. Unfortunately, for Heidi, we discover that she has picked the wrong bathroom to relieve herself in. Forced to play a terrifying game, it’s up to the audience to discover if she makes it to the very end.
In the short runtime we get in SEEK, Morgan makes great use of the time provided to build tension and suspense. Each story beat lands successfully. Once the game begins, all the audience is left to do is watch in horror. Screaming at the screen is optional, but you’d be hard-pressed not to. And, just when you think that the tables will turn, the rug is promptly swept out from underneath. Hopelessness abounds, creating a sort of mic drop-style of finish.
SEEK is, dare I say, almost perfect. There may be some that are so-so on the final creature reveal but, in all honesty, that is up to the individual viewer. From beginning to end, the viewer is taking on a rollercoaster ride of emotion. A mixture of shock and satisfaction as the credits roll is near guaranteed.
Aaron Morgan’s SEEK won Best Horror Short at FilmQuest 2020, which took place May 21-29, 2021.
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