MY NEIGHBOR WANTS ME DEAD (2019)
Directed & written by Nick Gatsby.
Starring Scott Mitchell, Eric Willis
Find out more about this film here!
MY NEIGHBOR WANTS ME DEAD is a surreal short film that clocks in at just under an hour. It tells the story of a man (played by Eric Willis, who looks kind of like a black Seth Rogan) who wakes up in his apartment to find someone banging on his door and threatening him. As he sneaks around the house, attempting to avoid notice from the man outside, the protagonist ends up killing himself over and over again either through accident or by his own bonehead decisions. At least, that’s what I think is going on. This is a surreal film where there really are no rules, so interpretations may very.
Whether you like MY NEIGHBOR WANTS ME DEAD depends on how much you like having things explained all out or not. If you’re a literal minded viewer, you should probably give this one a pass. But if you can open your mind a bit and simply enjoy the sights and sounds that play out in front of you, there’s a lot you’re going to like about this experimental little film. MY NEIGHBOR WANTS ME DEAD has no dialog spoken by the actors, instead lines are written out on cards a la a silent movie. It does follow a sort of dream-like narrative reminiscent of a video game where the game starts over every time the protagonist loses his life.
Visually, this is an extremely entertaining film utilizing all sorts of rudimentary video effects and bright trippy colors to signify the feeling going on in the scene. From tense flashing colors to mellow fades, this is a film that is likely to entrance you if you’re in the right state of mind. The film utilizes a lot of wonderful edits, incorporating stills and extreme closeups that give off a wild and paranoid feel to this situation the protagonist finds himself in. But what really makes this one work in terms of causing unease is the use of a variety of sounds. From static to distorted noise, this is a film that unsettles because of the way the sound is designed and implemented.
While the film does get repetitious, I feel that is the point. The protagonist has to live a variety of lives before understanding how to get out of this situation. This being a surreal film, it is open to interpretation, but if I had to guess, I feel it is about attempting the same thing to get out of a troublesome situation and expecting different results until finally you get it right. I could be way off. But I don’t think a deep meaning behind the film is the point. It is whatever you take from it. This is truly an arthouse experimental film. Not for those who don’t appreciate a little vague intention and unbridled creativity. Seek out MY NEIGHBOR WANTS ME DEAD if you like your horror on the trippy side.