I'm rarely surprised. Any twist, any out-of-left-field turn of events that you choose to put into a horror movie, I probably saw it coming. Sure, that's the voice of an elitist film nerd, but I'll bet that if you're reading this, you're the same way. You pick up the clues, even the slightest accidents of storytelling, and extrapolate where its going by cross-referencing it with your expansive database of fright flicks. It's kind of a drag, really. Not to go off on a tangent, but when you start dissecting any particular genre, it loses a lot of it's mystery. That makes the genuine surprises all the more exciting when they happen, which brings me to Marc Roussel's Remote.

On a cold February night, Matt loses his cable signal during a severe snowstorm. He's left with channel after channel of static, until he comes across a station that is the mirror image of his apartment, but 30 years in the past. He soon discovers that he can communicate with Justine, the young woman residing in the apartment on the television. As the two get to know each other, Matt discovers that Justine died on that very night 30 years ago. Now, armed with that knowledge, can he change her fate?

Read the review after the jump!

I hesitate to tell you too much about this. I went into it blind and halfway through this 20 minute flick, I thought I had it pegged. The polished short hit a lot of familiar notes. It built its main character with your usual bits of human drama. The music turned the screws exactly where you would expect them to. The bad guy reared his head at just the right moment. Then the rug got pulled out from under me. While not groundbreaking, I was surprised. It was deft in its presentation. Without having ridiculous twists, the story skewed just off center enough to be a real eye-opener.

While the execution in Remote isn't quite flawless, it is exceptionally clever. Roussel pulls off some storytelling legerdemain with aplomb. It's a short that wastes very little time and would fit in right alongside some of the better episodes of the Twilight Zone. What's more is that it could easily be expanded into a feature length film. It's garnered enough attention to, having played at places like Shriekfest and Fango, and its still making the festival rounds after a hugely successful 2009 run. Check out the Facebook page and if you're lucky, it might play at a fest near you.

Oh, and forget everything you just read. Just read it and pretend I didn't hint at any surprises, okay?
categories Reviews, Horror