The sisters Amanda and Alexandra find themselves kidnapped and blindfolded by a masked man. The masked man begins to cut off the fingers off of one of the girls. Soon his motive for this horrific crime is revealed, and it proves to be very personal.
William Grefe hasn't been doing much directing since 1977. While he has has been writing and such between 1977 and now, we're still mostly remembering him from his '60s and '70s flicks. I'm sure animal horrors "Stanley" (previous reviewed by us) and "Mako: The Jaws of Death", or possibly "Wild Rebels" and "Sting of Death", are the titles people will connect his name to. And rightfully so, despite not being all that great. My childhood hated "Mako: The Jaws of Death" because whenever I watched it, it was simply because I couldn't watch "Jaws". And my somewhat recent review of "Stanley" shows I'm not a big fan. It's interesting to see what he's capable of now, however. Not to mention, I enjoy seeing what sort of horror would bring him back to the directing chair. The result was surprising.
This 10 minute story of torture can't wait to throw us into the hands of a baby-face masked maniac. Straight off the bat we're introduced to Amanda and Alexandra, two sisters, who find themselves bound and blindfolded back-to-back on two chairs in a basement in front of this masked man. Soon he begins to cut off the fingers of one of the girls, while the other one has to sit through her horrific screams. As things seem to be at their very worst, it all takes a huge turn when the man seems to be someone they know, not just a random psycho.
"Consider Us Even" is, much like other short films, all about one scene and a small turn/twist at the end. It's a classic setup, but not one that I always find too appealing. My personal opinion is that even though something is short, there's most likely more to tell than just one scene that leads to a sudden reveal. Considering most shorts play out this way, I assume I am in the minority here and I won't hold this against "Consider Us Even". After all, it does what is expected. Sort of. It does indeed pack a twist at the end, which manages to both be unpredictable and predictable at the same time. For one, the title reveals quite a bit, but I think there's still something left to discover. At least there was for me. That doesn't exactly mean it was a revelation or a memorable addition to a short that seems to be holding on tightly to the already tired torture film wave (a subgenre that only works nowadays when Trent Haaga is holding the pen).
I can't go into great detail about "Consider Us Even", but I can talk about the technical side. Throwing red and green light from two different angles is the classic Argento-inspired lighting, but "Consider Us Even" isn't a stylized, art-heavy short film - it's a torture movie. Therefor I spend more time than I should thinking where the colored lighting actually comes from. Naturally this is the wrong way to watch a movie, but it speaks a bit about the film in question as well. It simply didn't captivate me in other areas, so I was left looking at lighting. Most of the movie isn't too poorly produced, though.
Me being distracted and bored with the movie is the biggest flaw. It's a torture movie, essentially, and that's a subgenre that really requires something unique to be worth the time. "Consider Us Even" suffers from simply being part of the subgenre. I'd like to believe that William Grefe has a lot more to offer in 2014 than an uninspired attempt at a torture short. And yes, I put a lot of this on William Grefe, when in reality I should mention Beau Yotty. Beau Yotty wrote, played the part of the man and produced the movie. It's very much his film more than William Grefe, but as I don't have a past with him, and William Grefe was a name from my childhood, my disappointment comes mostly from expecting something else from its director. In the end, it takes more than just one person to make a movie unoriginal and tiresome, so hopefully I will see better from everyone in the future.