Every day in October, the Department of Tangents Blog & Podcast is presenting a different short horror film. Some frightful, some delightful, like today’s entry, Merv, a post-apocalyptic tale directed by Matt Inns and written by Inns and Steven Woller, presented by Little Dragon Pictures.
This one’s an anomaly. You won’t often see a story set in the post-apocalypse this charming and hopeful. Merv, our man in the bunker, is terrified of the world outside. As well he should be. It’s a harsh wasteland with a burned out city for a skyline and red dust blowing in the wind. But he checks his radio constantly, and waters his tiny plant every day. Why? Because more has to be possible. But when he’s presented with the possibility, he is fearful, then hostile.
Merv shows us how silly we can be when we act out of fear and how beautiful we can be when we act out of kindness. I’m almost sad to include it in a “Horror Film Fest,” but it’s the horror here that sets up the beauty. It’s a well-constructed film – the story is delightful, the cinematography is striking, and the sound design is perfect. It might be the one short I post this month that makes you glad to be alive.