Omeleto

Bargain

By Clifford Miu | Drama
A superstitious Chinese student signs a lease for a luxury apartment, then finds out it was the site of a homicide.

A young Chinese foreign exchange student named Li finds herself in New York City to continue her studies. She lucks into a beautiful luxurious apartment with a stunning view of the city, allowing her to live out her urban-chic dream.

But the apartment has a dark past as the site of a past homicide, which stirs up latent superstitions in Li. And once she uncovers the truth, she finds herself grappling with a power beyond this world.

Writer-director Clifford Miu’s paranormal thriller is an exploration of how our subconscious thoughts can shape our perception of reality. A portrait in how latent anxieties can swim to the surface of our lives and transform into nightmares, this bone-chilling psychological study uses the power of cinema to evoke the interior experience of fear, putting us in the footsteps of an increasingly paranoid main character.

What’s remarkable is that Miu accomplishes this with very few effects and a polished yet restrained sense of craftsmanship. The short is minimalist in many ways. Its narrative is self-contained and relatively narrow in scope, and with its intense focus on one character, it’s also a remarkably quiet film, with a sparsely decorated main location, little dialogue and no score.

Its silence and stillness is matched by an equally pared down sense of visuals, with deliberate and stately camera movements and a cool-toned color palette. With its often longer takes, we feel time stretch in the way that Li does, and how each progressively unnerving moment seems to gain weight, looming ever increasingly larger with each day.

This deliberate approach contributes to the main character’s sense of isolation and foregrounds just how uncanny an unseen presence in her home is — but also just how fascinating and real it becomes for her as well.

By the time we reach the film’s end, Li tries to strike a “bargain” with the spirit she senses. Whether that bargain works — and whether or not the spirit is real, or just a trick of Li’s increasingly strained mind — is left up to viewer interpretation at the end. The result is a small gem of a film that is uncanny enough to create a seeping sense of dread — not just because it explores the possibility of the otherworldly, but because its hauntings nestle so intimately within our deepest and most ancient fears.





You Might Also Like:

Lost and Found

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A clumsy crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A once-legendary farmer takes a chance and invest his life savings in a thoroughbred piglet.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
Two strangers, trying to avoid the crowd at a wedding reception, end up making an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
Two brothers caught in a time loop must traverse a series of maze-like events in order to prevent a catastrophic fire from occurring.

Garfield

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy. Then, she start to piece together how she got there.

Partners

By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's love life begins to slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship and confront how intertwined they've become.

Small Arms ft. Tyler Young

By Arman Cole | Drama
A bullied college student seeks out shooting lessons with an ex-militia member to prove his manhood.

Spoetnik

By Noel Loozen | Comedy
A young man finds himself in between a food-truck and a brothel. Then, he meets his dream girl.

Long Branch

By Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart | Romance
A heartbroken woman finds a one-night stand. But the guy lives two hours away... via public transit.

Ten Thousand Days

By Michael Duignan | Comedy
A man is convinced he'll die on his 10,000th day. But when he meets a girl at his cousin's funeral, things don't go to plan.

Pawns

By Tyrees A. Lamptey | Drama
A WW1 soldier is trapped in a trench with the enemy... and it restores their faith in humanity.

Pitter Patter Goes My Heart ft. Vicky Krieps

By Christoph Rainer | Romance
A hopeless romantic takes desperate measures to win her former lover back. But he already has a new girl at his side.

Grape Soda

By Justin Robinson | Drama
A marriage, broken by death, is kept alive by the memories held through grape soda.

Los Angeles 1991

By Zac&Mac | Drama
The streets of Los Angeles have become a hotbed of racial tension and hate about to burst.

The Disappearance of Willie Bingham

By Matt Richards | Horror
An inmate is selected to undergo a radical new justice program under the State's revised stance on capital crime.


Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening. That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.