Trunk (2010) – By Cary Conley

Trunk is a film short that tells the story of a teenage girl living with an abusive father.  One day, Candice has had enough of her father’s drinking and sets off on her own, hitchhiking across the deserts and prairies of the west.

Hitchhiking across vast expanses of highway, Candace is forced to take up an offer by a single man in a car; knowing it may be the only car for many miles, Candace feels like she has no choice.  Almost as soon as she gets in the car, she gets a weird feeling from the man.  He keeps looking at her and talking about his “little girl” that looks very much like Candace.  Even at 15 or 16, Candace knows this isn’t a good sign.  Unfortunately, the car gets a flat.  Candace takes the chance to try and knock the man out to steal his car, but he is too quick and the tables are turned—Candace wakes up in the trunk of the car.

What will happen to Candace now that she is a prisoner of this strange man?  Will she end up one of the countless numbers of victims that disappear never to be seen or heard from again?  Is this man really who we think he is?  If Candace is able to escape, will she take the chance to renew her relationship with her father?

I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that this is a well-crafted 16-minute short.  Director Sean Malone does a terrific job of creating tension and then slowly ratcheting the tension up as the film progresses.  The cast, which consist of only three people, are equally good.  Malone does a good job of using the wide open expanses of land to enhance the feeling of isolation and loneliness Candace is experiencing since her mother left her and her father.

While the plot sounds like a set-up for a horror film—young girl alone on a deserted highway and ends up in the trunk of a car—this story is ultimately about redemption and hope, for both Candace as well as the driver.

This is a very good short film and well worth watching.  If you are interested in viewing this video, please go to http://vimeo.com/10412600 to see it.  You won’t be disappointed.