Omeleto

A Snake Gone Through the House

By Strack Azar | Drama
A couple hunts for a snake at home after the death of their son.

Lee and Lija are a middle-aged couple living an ordinary life in an unspecified small town. But when their only son Jesse dies, their world is completely turned upside down, and the pair cope with their grief in different, separate ways.

But during one epic stormy night, their son’s pet snake escapes from its glass tank and hides somewhere in the house. Lee and Lija now must come together to find the snake, upending their home to find the creature — and finally confronting their devastating loss.

Writer-director Strack Azar, along with co-writer Michael Stevantoni, explores two parents’ cataclysmic loss and grief in this striking and powerful short drama.

Instead of a muted, dusty naturalism, the film opts for a richer, deeper tone to its storytelling, operating instead somewhere between a certain dark poetry and understated allegory. Graced with a simple yet expressive voiceover, the script, performances and dialogue are all understated and pared down, and though the subject matter is undeniably sad, the emotions themselves lurk below the surface, both by the design of the film’s craft and by the temperaments of the characters.

It’s fitting, as well, that the film’s cinematic language takes on an almost metaphorical power, with deep, saturated colors, an elegant and elegiac use of shadows and an eye for the uncanny and even spooky. Its camerawork is especially compelling, and its movements evoke the feel and power of winds moving across plains, sweeping up everything in its path — fitting for a film whose inciting incident is brought on by a storm smashing a glass tank.

This event lets loose Jesse’s snake and spurs his grieving parents into action to find the escaped creature, which is also the last living link to their son. Watching Jesse’s mother and father upend their home searching for the snake is both gently comical, deeply human and yet powerfully symbolic, as both parents break out of their stagnant, isolated bubbles of grief and finally come together in their loss.

“A Snake Gone Through the House” has the wonderful feel of a lost Flannery O’Connor story, with its rich mix of Southern grit and almost fairytale-like approach to its difficult emotional terrain. Treating death and grief like a force of nature that upends lives and destabilizes any sense of equilibrium, it’s not uncommon for marriages to fray and become distanced when grieving a child, and sometimes a strained partnership is a sad casualty of this. But as the final, resonant images of the film show, the only real consolation in this situation can be found in the one other person who understands fully the depth and catastrophe of that unimaginable loss and can share in that mourning.





You Might Also Like:

Discipline

By Christophe M. Saber | Comedy
A father slaps a disobedient child. Then a bystander threatens to report him for abuse.

The Landing

By Josh Tanner | Sci-Fi
A man uncovers the horrifying truth of what landed on his childhood farm.

Sometimes, I Think About Dying (Sundance)

By Stefanie Abel Horowitz | Drama
A woman thinks about dying. But a co-worker asks her out.

Bless Me Father

By Paul M. Horan | Drama
A priest has a moral dilemma when a man confesses a secret that affects his life.

The Goodnight Show

By Charlie Schwan | Sci-Fi
A virgin tries to get laid before an unstoppable asteroid ends the world.

Naysayer ft. Steven Yeun

By David M. Helman | Drama
A young father who is cut off from his son takes matters into his own hands.

Retouch

By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
An Iranian woman's husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Stealing Silver ft. Maisie Williams

By Mark Lobatto | Drama
A woman uncovers the truth about the man living across from her.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Don’t Be a Hero (Sundance)

By Pete Lee | Drama
A woman robs banks as a cowboy on her lunch break.

Lost & Found (The Oscars)

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

Edmund the Magnificent ft. David Bradley & Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A farmer invests his savings in a piglet.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
2 strangers at a wedding reception make an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
A man in a time-loop must work with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire.

Garfield (Sundance)

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy.


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.