By Lois Kennedy
‘Get Out Now’ was made by high school students; director Ben Ullman-Petrash’s post on Reddit states: “My Comm Tech class had to make a short film for our summative, so a few friends and I created this short film, Get Out Now.” The phrase “had to make a short film” doesn’t fill me with confidence in the filmmakers, but some genuine thought was put into the production.
The plot is pretty nonsensical, but here goes: A guy hears a knock at his door, sees nobody, sees a ghost in his pool for some reason, runs around a lot, ignores multiple warnings to get out now, pays the price.
Our protagonist is a walking horror movie no-no, the kind people scream at for being an idiot. He hears a knock but no one’s there, so he wanders around the yard. He then sees what appears to be a ghost floating face down in his pool, so he goes back in the house. He’s running up the stairs, hears another knock at the door, and goes down to investigate. Why go back in the house? Why go up the stairs? Why answer the damn door again? Even after phantom words appear warning him yet again, he stays. When a masked dude with a butcher knife wanders in, his response is to hide. This killer is smaller than him, and all he has is a knife–he could totally take him! I should mention that the main character also had a butcher knife at one point, but he dropped it and left it.
The acting is labored. The lead actor does not do a good afraid face (at best he looks mildly disconcerted), nor does he run convincingly. Sure he’s conveyed from point A to point B speedily, physically he can run, but he looks like he’s running cautiously (my guess is to avoid running into the camera) instead of someone who’s so scared his response is to get away as fast as he can. Ullman-Petrash has a baffling cameo as someone who for some reason comes to the door to warn the main character, and his delivery of his one line (you can guess what it is) leaves something to be desired. The killer isn’t tasked with much as far as acting, but he does a cool head tilt that makes him look menacing.
The sound effects are done well, as far as they sound realistic and they sound like what they’re supposed to, but they’re a bit loud and distracting. The house the film is shot in looks brand new, but every single stair on the staircase creaks. On the plus side, the fake blood looks great and the special effect of the disappearing/reappearing body in the pool is seamless. The killer’s mask is sufficiently creepy.
Overall, I like it. It’s maddening with its confused plot and silly protagonist and is nowhere near scary, but it has heart. I have to cut these eleventh grade kids some slack; most of this review was written while I was under the impression they were in college. As a critic, I can gripe all I want, but I’ve never made the effort to make a movie myself. Give it a look–even if you hate it, it’s under six minutes long.