[New York Independent Film Festival] Short Films: Lethe (2018) - Reviewed

Currently making the festival rounds and set to screen at NYCIFF is the short thriller Lethe, from writer and director Eric Romero. This British thriller is a well crafted slow burner that will really hit home for some people once the twist is finally revealed at the end.

Time is Eve's true enemy, as she tries to put the puzzle pieces together after loosing her memory in a car crash. Suffering from amnesia, she must try to unravel the secrets that are trapped within her fragmented memories, all while being pursued by two mysterious men. Without revealing any of the pertinent information, Lethe is reminiscent of Christopher Nolan's thriller Memento, in that the main character couldn't remember events from her past and is putting all of the information together into some coherent fashion. Just like the main character, the audience is only privy to the same information that Eve is getting, which maintains that air of mystery that the director was going for. It's only at the final reveal do we discover the true nature of the events and why the men were pursuing Eve. It's at that moment that this story takes on a touching and heartbreaking turn.

Romero employs some unique camera techniques, most notably the body mount camera attached to actress Kirsty Findlay, to add an extra layer of confusion and paranoia to the situation. The haunting and moody score further adds to the mysterious nature of the events that are occurring. The large old house and classic automobile greatly increase the overall production values of the film.

Overall, Lethe isn't perfect, but it's worth checking out at least once for its twist ending.

Lethe is set to screen at NYCIFF on May 9th.