If you are happy with an entirely serviceable little film that makes no attempt to be anything more than the ultra-low budget expanded short film that this movie feels like, than you might enjoy watching this one. It's short. There's always that. And to give credit where it's due, the cinematography is excellent, the score is good, the sound is decent, and direction is efficient if you only judge it visually - but more on that in a bit. The production design (assuming they built that one solitary set) is very good and the actors do a decent-to-very-good job with what they've been given. But I am frustrated by how little effort the filmmakers put into trying to make the film anything more than the easiest thing it could be. Four people in one bathroom. The basic idea is actually quite interesting, and the idea of them suspecting that one of them might be the shooter, opens the script up to a variety of deep possibilities if the writer was willing to tackle them. But he's not. In fact, he more or less chickens out on daring to delve too deeply; if someone is gonna get hurt then they are naturally going to deserve it somehow - which is actually the exact OPPOSITE of what most mass shootings teach us. So there is only one person to blame for all the inherent weaknesses and massive missed opportunities and that's the writer/director. The film is technically well-made and his visual use of the camera in the confined space is good, but he doesn't push for anything more than a surface "twist" or two (both of which could be seen coming from a mile away) but he also ignores everything else that makes a movie good. He sets up interesting dynamics amongst the four characters but cannot develop them believably within the context of the situation. It's like they repeatedly forget that an active shooter might be right outside the door. That they are in a life and death situation. They also seem to become progressively less intelligent about their situation the more time passes. If that was done as part of an overall theme showing the lack of natural instincts or the ability to act in a threatening situation compared to the "accepted" qualities of office politics than it would serve a purpose. But it doesn't. Those aren't things this filmmaker wants to address. He just needs people to be stupid or to act out of character. And maybe he doesn't understand how forensics works, or how to blockade a room, or that bleach sprayed into someone's eyes actually does damage, it doesn't just sting - but a decent writer/director would care enough to find out about them, if he was interested in making a good movie!
And one final note: how many credits does one guy need? A film with four people in one bathroom and he needs credit as Location Manager AND Casting, while at the same time acknowledging he needs an assistant to cast those four people? And he needs a credit for carpentry and collecting props? I have seen several micro-budget films where the directors literally not only designed everything but constructed special props and special effects, did their own lighting and often ran the camera themselves, and never felt the need to be given credit other than writer/producer/director/designer. Maybe if the creator of Active Shooter had been less concerned with telling people every little thing he had a hand in (which is the NORM for low budget indies) and been more concerned with having something to say with his film, it would be more than tolerable.
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