A burglary is taking place in a house across the street from four curious teenagers. Equipped with their camera, the teenagers are hoping to actually see something. When the burglars spot the teenagers, they're soon in the house with them.
I will probably never lose hope for the mockumentary genre because I know that it's the right one for me. When done right, that is. It's the genre quickest to stir things up in my head since I am way more terrified of life and people than I am of monsters/over-the-top killers/etc. The mockumentary genre isn't free from these things, and they're not exclusive to frequent the things I am scared of, but I have found a real joy in certain titles within it. It's a fascinating genre since it can be twisted around so much. But the majority of films are dung, still, so it's with certain care I dance through the genre. With "15-05-08" I didn't have much choice... Actually, yes I did, I could totally have said no to reviewing it. I could have been the biggest bitch ever. But I chose not to be that. Luckily, it has more good things to offer than bad things.
Very primitive in story: the curiosity of teenagers is indeed without limits. Everyone can relate to that. So when teenagers are spying on something they believe is a break in, there isn't a doubt in my mind that I would have done the same thing. When they realize that there is indeed people in the house across the street (that is supposed to be empty, as the family is on vacation - or something along the lines of that) they're even more intrigued and try to get the best view possible. They end up being spotted by one of the burglars, and soon someone is in their house.
The first part of the short is actually spot on to what I want out of mockumentaries. Real, simple and just boils down to putting yourself in the situation. Beyond being really low volume and having them mostly whisper, I was really into it. Up until they are actually seen by one of the burglars I was ready for some suspense (and did get some). After that the short slowly grows into your typical home invasion movie, just done slightly slower/carefully. It starts to take out the rational behavior and you're left wondering why someone went down stairs alone (or even, at all). As usual in slashers and horror in general, eh? It's hard to feel the same kind of tension then, when you're just waiting for the burglars to strike. Finally they do, and there's not much suspense left at all.
"15-05-08" is by all means a successful short still. It does more right than wrong, and the first half of it is great. I think this team should tackle the mockumentary style again and try not to fall into old traps. I love that they brought it down to burglars and not something supernatural or over-the-top. That's the kind of thing that can bring on some real suspense. Had this brought on a little more in style of "Ils" rather than a slasher towards the end, we'd have something great here. But I reckon it's well worth checking out!