Film Review: Lockdown Went Wrong – Short And Sharp, Or Phoning It In

June 28, 2020

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By BRUCE DENNILL

Lockdown Went Wrong / Directed by Lazarus Thema / Virtual National Arts Festival / PG13

 

Lockdown Went Wrong is a film that lasts just a minute. That sort of brevity prompts the sort of questions that are asked about all sorts of creativity that fails to conforms to genre formulae. Is it worth watching? What’s the point? Does it even matter? In short (ha!) – yes. The story sees a young man out on a run in the country. There is nobody else in sight. He pauses in front of a water tower to catch his breath and take a selfie. Which reveals – when he zooms in to check his focus – a hooded figure on the frame of the tower. The runner checks. He is still alone, so he takes another selfie. The figure is there again, and it has moved. Another look around; the runner is still alone. A third selfie, and…

In terms of horror filmmaking, the techniques used here are standard – cuts and jump scares, not requiring dialogue or a narrator. And yet, perhaps because the piece isn’t burdened by the ridiculous hype and needless intricacy of many Hollywood horror films, it easily does without their visual lushness and layered special effects.

Most people’s lockdown experiences include loneliness on some level. Here the solo runner expects to be alone; perhaps relishes not having company. So the unexpected presence of another person, particularly one who seems to have hostile intent, is doubly problematic and, in a story as brief as this one, doubly hard-hitting.

In the context of a festival, especially one where most audience members are buying day passes, Lockdown Went Wrong is a wonderful palate cleanser between longer, more weighty projects as well as a punchy standalone creation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”default_sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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