“Echoes in an Empty Apartment” is full of energy and intrigue in its 23 minutes. Lindsay Lane commands the screen as The Angel. This horror short begins with our femme fatale engaged in cleaning up her blood-stained kitchen. In her yellow rubber gloves, and cherry print apron, she meticulously sponges away. The dark red blood is set off by the bright yellow gloves. Once satisfied that things are polished clean, she delivers a chilling stare. We then cut to a drifter in a dive bar. He’s The Bastard (played by Trey McCurley) in our story. He will sleep with anyone and mounts a prostitute twice his size while under the surveillance of The Angel. She’s on a case and it revolves around him.
By the end of her night patrol, she finds The Bastard at home berating his wife. She’s The Blonde (played by Katherine Adams) in our story. The Angel’s stare is delivering daggers in the direction of The Bastard. Then her eyes meet The Blonde and they dim a little. If you’re sensing a touch of the theatrical, as in a piece of theater workshop, you wouldn’t be too far off the mark. To round out the cast, there’s The Whore (played by Ko Wills) and The Burn (played by T.W. Reed), who we meet at the end and ties up some philosophical loose ends. This is all very theatrical, there’s just no getting around it, but that’s all for the good in my book.
There’s a scene when The Angel has The Bastard in her crosshairs and forces him to wash her dishes. “I don’t like a messy kitchen!” she commands. It’s a reference back to the opening scene and one of the best. I think, if the heat had been turned up higher, that scene could have had a weirder tone crossing into weird funny or weird scary. As it is, it’s fine. Considering the constraints of a short film, I think it accomplishes a lot. It’s a bit experimental and the mania of theater work creeps in.
What’s great about this little film is that it proves to be an excellent showcase for four actors and writer/director Alex Rhyme. I mean, this is what it is, an over-the-top noirish and dreamy crime thriller thingie. When you’ve got an ending that finds us with a bum pleading for a hired killer to go easy on herself, you can’t help but expect the credits to roll on some recycled crime drama on network TV. Let’s just throw that out there. And with this in mind, consider the title, “Echoes in an Empty Apartment,” and I rest my case. Again, if the heat had been turned up, that would have taken things even further. Now, on to the next film.
So, all in all, this uneven attempt to subvert genres leaves me rooting for Alex Rhyme and definitely for Lindsay Lane. Visit the official website for the film right here.