Best known for his features The Arbor Demon and Nailbiter writer/director Patrick Rea is a prolific maker of short films. Several of them have turned up as episodes of anthology films as well. His current short film Fused, however, is a bit different.
Sarah (Sarah McGuire, House of Forbidden Secrets) suffers from a nasty looking skin ailment. Her doctor (Jennifer Femiano) is mystified by it and the rate it’s spreading. She’s also been hiding from her lover Cassie (Katie Rohlfing) who turns up at her door demanding answers.
Sarah tells her she’s been suffering blackouts and memory loss, things we know she’s hiding from the doctor. She also tells her she thinks it may be a result of her suffering from Vanishing Twin Syndrome in the womb. She asked Cassie to stay and keep watch over her, to see what happens during her blackouts. Can she deal with what she sees?
At 18 minutes long Fused does a good job of keeping the suspense jacked up. By about five minutes in the script has given the viewer a big clue as to what’s going on. Filling in the details however proves to be full of surprises.
There are obvious echoes of The Dark Half and DePalma’s Sisters in the plot, but this isn’t a clone of either of them. Fused actually feels like the first act of a longer film. One that could end up similar to them, but it could as easily stay on its own path. I know Rea is busy with the werewolf film I Am Lisa and a sequel to Nailbiter but I’d love to see him return to this material and fill it out.
Fused has played some festivals, and there are at least a couple of others planned. You might find updates on the director’s Facebook page.