Co-directed by Meg Case and her partner Brad Porter, ‘Wrath‘ takes you inside the mind of an artistic young woman on the brink of a mental breakdown, while COVID-19 hits her home Michigan, USA and the rest of the world.
Amidst a mandatory quarantine, a young woman living in isolation battles against her growing paranoia and deteriorating mental health as her fear of the outside world drives her deeper inwards. To see anxiety put into words and visuals like Case and Porter did in their film, is nothing short of inventive as it is beautifully haunting. A constant dreadful feeling lingers throughout, making you uncomfortable without relying on cliché horror tropes. Case and Porter start their film ominously by quoting a verse from the Bible (Isaiah 26:20), hinting at the situation we find our world in today. Over the course of a week, Emily (played by director Meg Case) will lose control over her mental state, while the lines between reality and hallucinations start to blur.
Technically, ‘Wrath‘ is superb. There’s clever use of camera angles and movements, working with different (natural) light sources and shadows. The very metallic rock score that creeps in from the very minute the film starts to play, would drive anyone insane. Luckily, that score turns into something more tribal when “plant mommy” Emily has to find refuge for the numerous house plants she takes great care of in her basement, moving them all into her tiny apartment, turning it into some kind of out-of-this-world jungle to escape in. Besides the score, these two young directors clearly paid attention to the sound effects, which is able to pull you closer to the edge of your seat.
The constant sense of loneliness is excruciating for Emily. Meg Case plays the part as if she’s working through that downward spiral herself. She absolutely nails it. Working with a story that barely holds any dialogue is never easy, but the way she and her partner used photography and sound as if it were supporting cast is just exemplary. The same could be said about the set design – which is basically the director couple’s apartment. They were able to find use for every single nook and cranny and made it work as if they had an actual set.
Wrath is a disturbingly accurate reality for a lot of people right now. The directors’ statement reads: “We believe that creativity promotes mental health“, and I couldn’t agree more. Hopefully we get to see many more of these artistic revelations while we’re stuck inside. Wrath is top-shelf horror.
You can check out ‘Wrath’ for yourself, right HERE
Short Film Review – ‘Wrath’
Reviewed online (screener provided by director), September 27, 2020. Rating: TBC. Running time: 32 min.
PRODUCTION: A Nobudge release. Producers: Meg Case, Brad Porter.
CREW: Director/screenplay/editing/cinematography/score: Meg Case, Brad Porter.
WITH: Meg Case, Sam Clement, Brad Porter.