A group of strangers sit together in a van, speeding to an undisclosed location for a medical study. They shack up for a weekend in a nice house, all with their own reasons for volunteering. Some have debts to pay, others just want to make money — but none of them are supposed to discuss their personal details. But the study they’re participating in isn’t exactly what it seems…
Taut and suspenseful, writer/director Will Bakke has crafted a short thriller that engages attention quickly and moves just as fast, with snappy dialogue and broadly sketched but specifically drawn performances and characters. The script never lags, deftly combining just enough character and backstory with narrative development to power the story forward and keep the audience intrigued.
The concept is the star here, and all elements of filmmaking craft work together to serve it, from cinematographer Joe Simon’s agile camerawork and suspenseful shots to the chillingly agitated score. It all comes together to create a powerfully compelling — and nervewracking — story and world that pays homage to the great horror films of the 80s while still offering something intriguingly fresh to the genre.
“The Study” was made as a proof-of-concept project for a feature film, and storywise, an audience will likely want more. But its storytelling is so effective — and its chills and thrills so hair-raising — that it should prove memorable and inspire great discussion. Fans of thrillers, sci-fi and horror should get in on “The Study” now: with its ability to create spine-chilling visceral moments of fear and suspense and its fascinating central concept and idea, this is a story that promises only to get bigger and scarier.