It takes something for a short movie to grab the attention, and transport your mind into a place that you’d normally expect to be after a full ninety minutes or so, but Ross Adgar’s directorial debut does just that. During the intriguing, claustrophobic and very anxious ten minutes of film, one’s emotional range is truly run, leaving you actually wanting more.
John (Sills) has awoken at a church altar, a small selection of candles and a ticking metronome by his side. Confused, he opens the door… which leads to train carriage, brightly lit by the daylight and eerily deserted. He is overpowered by thoughts; recollections and things that piece together how he got there and why. As he walks the train looking for an exit, he always arrives back at the same place: a photo of his family, a radio broadcasting news reports of missing children and that altar.
With such a simple premise, it’s not terribly hard to work out what’s happening, but Adgar’s direction and, more importantly use of sound, raise the short above others of its ilk. It’s this sound design that underpins the apprehension and ultimately heightens the fear and accelerates the thoughts of what John actually has done to get himself into his own personal purgatory.
Sills conveys the emotions well, and certainly carries the film, being essentially the only ‘real’ character on screen (we’ll not go any further for fear of spoiling the enjoyment for the viewers).
The Railway Carriage should be doing the festival circuit this year, and should you get the chance to see it, make sure you do.
THE RAILWAY CARRIAGE / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: ROSS ADGAR / STARRING: DEAN SILLS, DAVID CHAMBERS, GERI PRESTON / RELEASE DATE: TBC