Title: Unlocking Charlie

Also known as:

Year: 2011

Genre: Short / Psychological / Romance

Language: English

Runtime: 13 min

Director: Stephen Crilly

Writer: Stephen Crilly

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1977983/

An agoraphobic man is in love with his neighbour, but he can't seem to go anywhere with it due to his disorder. When she is finally announcing that she is moving, he has to ignore his fears if he wants his dream girl.

Our thoughts:
It's nice to sit down and watch a short film that you don't really know much about. The short runtime helps because you know that in about 10-15 minutes you will be done and you can go on with your day. Best case, it's a fantastic little short - worst case it's just 15 wasted minutes. Minutes you probably would've spent doing nothing anyway. "Unlocking Charlie" is a short film that I'm glad I didn't miss out on.

The girl living next door to an agoraphobic man, Charlie, is moving out. There is something between the two, but the Charlie's anxiety keeps him from leaving his apartment - something inevitably puts stop to any kind of a relationship that could grow between them. One day she tells Charlie that she is moving out, and asks if he wants to do something together with her on New Years. He happily says yes, but he also knows that it won't be quite that easy. His anxiety puts him into a psychological nightmare that yet again keeps him from leaving. She ends up hanging out with Charlie's friend, but before the end of the night something happens that forces Charlie to leave his bubble.

"Unlocking Charlie" is essentially a romance, and that's the strongest aspect of it. Especially when I knew nothing about it, that ended up being an interesting surprise. It has a strange dream sequence where we see some of the things haunting Charlie, and while that one was interesting I think a few things could've been more effective. Though with a 13 min runtime, and being a romance film above everything, I can't possibly be too picky about such a detail.

The strongest points here are Tom Maguire as Charlie and Grace Kelley as Molly. Tom Maguire plays Charlie as a very nice man with some intense anxiety very well, we like him but at the same time we don't know what his problem is until the end. He could just as well be a psycho, for all we know. As for Molly, she is the typical, lovely girl next door - there is nothing wrong with this, because her character is exactly that. It's hard not to like her, and you really hope for Charlie to fight his demons so that he can get his love interest.

There is a lot to like about "Unlocking Charlie". It's a sweet short film that still maintains mysterious and psychological enough to fit our website. There's no deny in the power of love, and I suppose that's what Stephen Crilly managed to reveal here. Sometimes it's good to see a story of someone conquering their fears for something they love. It's hard to pick on the few flaws it has, as the positive things are far more important.

Positive things:
- Great acting from Tom Maguire and Grace Kelley.
- There's definite potential in Stephen Crilly.
- A nice, sweet story that still has an uncomfortable and psychological vibe.
- Well shot.

Negative things:
- The dream sequence did feel a bit underwhelming, though it gets the point across.

Gore: 0/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 3/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 0.5/5

We got this movie from:

It can be bought from:

Reviewed by:


Like us on Facebook

Best of 2017
"City of Rott: Streets of Rott" Press Release
Best of 2016
Best of 2015
Underrated Horror Movies That Aren't Underrated: A Halloween List
Howling: Halloween 2015
Amityville: Halloween 2015
A Stephen King Halloween for 2015
"Tales of the Dim" Press Release
Best of 2014
Full Moon Favorites
A '90s Halloween
Best of 2013
A Profane Preview
A Netflix Halloween for 2013
"German Angst" on Kickstarter
The Sexploitation/Erotica List
Ronny's Arthouse Films List #2
Best of 2012
Worst of 2012

Special Feature Archives

1. Okja
2. Lucky
3. 68 Kill
4. Prevenge
5. Shin Godzilla
6. Good Manners
7. Love and Other Cults
8. Get Out
9. It Comes At Night
10. November
Taken from Best of 2017

- Mondo Vision
- Second Run DVD