A German soldier deserts from the army during World War II and is thrown into a strange underground cell in a mysterious Nazi prison. He wakes up to find himself sharing the cell with a female prisoner, who is helpless and scared.
The pair are forced to take part in a cruel psychological experiment in order to free themselves. But one final unseen obstacle stands in the way of freedom…
Writer/director team Paul Holbrook and Alex Hollister have created a short sci-fi/horror mash-up that recalls the B-movies of the early 80s, with its expressionistic, lurid lighting, propulsive camerawork and pulsating score. But despite the throwback stylings, they prove that a tightly structured, highly focused and smartly constructed story always has classic appeal.
Combined with stellar craftsmanship, sharp and intelligent directing and visceral performances, the short evokes the cerebral surreal horror of two great cinematic Davids — Lynch and Cronenberg — in both its cerebral fascinations and viscerally horrific bodily transformations.
“Cell” moves quickly through a lot of story in its relatively compact runtime, never letting up from its evocation of suspense, thrills and chills. Nerve-wracking and intriguing from its very first minute, this short horror thriller cleverly ratchets up the tension, and pays off the audience’s investment with a satisfyingly horrific end — and a truly disquieting denouement that will haunt viewers well after the film ends.