AMY’S IN THE FREEZER
Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Writer/Director, Venita Ozols-Graham (Used Body Parts) for allowing me access to an online screener of her latest short, the 13-minute Crime/Thriller “Amy’s In The Freezer”. Amy’s In The Freezer opens to a man (played by Michael Villar) who’s in a bit of dismay as he attempts to pull himself together at a private cabin following a bank heist. All is not quite what it seems with the hostage he procured (Brigitte Graham) though, and so the afternoon takes a surprise turn.
I had the privilege of seeing Venita’s first short film Used Body Parts a while back. It was a thoroughly entertaining and polished horror short contained in and around a gas station *see review* https://adamthemoviegod.com/used-body-parts-review/. I’ve kept an eye on the progress of Amy’s In The Freezer and had been looking forward to seeing it. It reunites Graham with not only her daughter but Villar as well. She crosses over invitingly into crime territory with this latest one. The heavily wooded surroundings of this cabin in outer Los Angeles makes for a solid setting, and the use of natural light is welcoming too. DP, Lisa Stoll has spent significant time working in the short-medium and employs consistent framing and some nice panning here. The audio track is clean, and experienced composer Alexander Arntzen draws on the notion of a rhythmic synth patter in order to support the dark comedy – reminiscent of something like “Very Bad Things”. Both actors do a solid job, and despite the drama, the two characters actually present as nonconflicting at different times throughout.
I think the biggest hiccup with the film is that Venita’s probably guilty of letting the proverbial cat out of the bag in regard to the mechanics of her script. The synopsis for Amy’s In The Freezer basically lays out exactly what you’re going to see in these 12 minutes (and in hindsight that would have better been kept secret). Whilst this is certainly competently shot, I still preferred the flow of the edit in Used Body Parts, along with the dynamics of the camera itself. There are a couple of brief lapses of focus in here and a Steadicam approach that isn’t quite as cinematic as I’d hoped. Amy’s arc is a nice touch, but what are the odds of her crossing paths with Hank? It would’ve been a more credible crossing of paths had she actually been an employee of the bank.
After almost 40 years in the business serving as an AD (among other roles), I’m pleased to see Graham making a go of it behind the camera and getting another short film under her expanding belt. Amy’s In The Freezer is serviceably shot, well-acted, and the synth score gives the whole thing a good-natured sensibility. I think a bit more variety in the presentation wouldn’t have gone astray and the edit could’ve used a few alterations. At the end of the day though, the only thing really hurting Amy’s In The Freezer is that it’s all pretty much spelled out for you before the first frame begins to roll. That said, it’s a fun time and well worth a watch. Keep an eye out for it soon!
My rating for “Amy’s In The Freezer” is 6.5/10