Billy walks up on the day of his 3-year anniversary to find that his girlfriend is terrified of him – seemingly unable to shake off a nightmare she just had which featured him doing unspeakably terrible things. A bit shaken up but yet willing to let it pass, Billy heads off to his workplace only to find that his girlfriend was not the only one who had this nightmare, and it seemed everyone he meets recognizes him from the same terrible dream they had the night before – and cannot shake what they saw him do from the reality of him in front of them.
It is hard to believe that this idea has not been done before – but if it has I cannot find an example of it; the reason I even bothered to check this was because the base idea here is not only a great one, but it is also one built on an universally familiar thing of someone having a dream involving us, and waking up angry as a result. This short film takes that idea and expands it to the whole world in a way that is engaging, frightening and offers great things. As it builds, it does deliver on this, and the unspoken nature of the dream, and the suggestion of some sort of unseen hand controlling things, does raise the stakes and tension really well. Okay the engineered robbery sequence is a bit forced, but it still works thanks to the core idea. The short runs for almost 20 minutes, and it held me for the entirety of it – well, almost.
The ending is a bit of a letdown in some ways; perhaps understandably the downside of the great idea and buildup is that the payoff doesn't totally satisfy in many ways. I mean, it is certainly memorable as a conclusion (and, as a result, the end credits include a "thanks" to Society director Brian Yuzna) however it doesn't totally deliver on the great idea; maybe nothing would have though – which is testament to how good the idea was in the first place. It is convincingly sold by the cast – in particular Hursley in the lead role of the subject of the dream. Direction is also very good from writer/director Torrens, really building up tension and fear throughout the film with a very clear, bright look to the cinematography.
In the end, Sequence doesn't totally deliver in a way that totally satisfies, but this is mainly down to how well it sets itself up with a great idea, a great delivery and such an overall engaging story – it is understandable perhaps for the ending to be a bit of an anticlimax, but it does still work and, as a whole, it is a really great short film.
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