Feeding Randy (2013) – Kirsten Walsh

Short films are an awesome way to tell a great story, but not be too taxing on the viewer or the filmmaker- and the filmmakers behind Feeding Randy do just that. At only 39 minutes, the film tells a twisting, diving story of man bedeviled by his past and how it affects his present, and leaves the viewer feeling haunted and questioning their own past.

In a story set on a quaint little farm, a family prepares to go on their vacation, but leaves the father to get his things ready, and in doing so, set a line of horrid things in motion that would turn their seemingly normal family into a pure tragic set of people. The character of George, played by Julien Bailey, has some amazing moments where he just turns on a separate side of himself and in essence, snaps, as he remembers his childhood bully, Randy (played by Terry Hemplman), who continues to remain a part of his life. As George witnesses a random murder outside of his farm, and is chased by the killers back to his home turf, it is only Randy who can save him, but ultimately tear at the seams of reality in George’s life.

The film is shot incredibly, and I would attribute much of this to co-director Travis Anderson. Anderson is a talented photographer who knows exactly how to frame a still moment in time to pull the emotion out of it, and it shows throughout the film. The opening credits resemble something along the line of a Kubrick film, or even a Del Toro film, with the music and imagery compiling together to set the dark but playful tone of the film.

The main issues with this film lie within the sound, in my opinion. One of the first scenes in the film is set at a breakfast table where the family is all together, but it seems as though the mother’s voice is separate from her body- which of course to me sounds like ADR. While this is not obtrusive, with her character it seems to carry through the entirety of the film, which nags a bit towards the end. As a film lover of many genres, there are those moments that seem absolutely unnecessary in a film- that is, it doesn’t move the story along or trigger a character in any way, and this film had one of those moments- the death of the dog. The dog, which played such a minor companion to George, was killed within the first ten minutes of the film, as the killers were chasing him back to his farm. George was able to run inside, but left the poor pooch outside, where the killers quickly ended his life with one blow. What was the reason for this? To show that the killers had no regard for life and were set on a mission? The fact that the killers chased George all the way back to his house from their crime scene serviced that enough. Of course, the dog was not injured in any way outside of the film, but within the story, it served absolutely no purpose- it is never mentioned again by the family in the aftermath.

Altogether, this is a good example of storytelling in a concise method, which beckons homage to Hitchcock and Kubrick through the lens, and it is easy to understand why this film has won a handful of awards at various festivals. The filmmakers have now decided that since their festival run is complete, they would release the film for free on the internet, where fans who saw it and those who only heard about it can now be a part of the dark and twisting story.

I would encourage this film to those who are a fan of the classics, with good pacing and a nice big twist at the end.

The film can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=496GMxY44CA

The official film website can be found here: http://feedingrandymovie.com/HOME.html