Into the Mud is a simple, but incredibly polished short from writer/director Pablo S. Pastor. The film opens with a naked woman (María Forqué) lying on a plastic tarp in the middle of a forest, covered in blood. She surveys her body and we catch a glimpse of a set of sharp white nails as it becomes apparent this woman may not be what she appears. She gets up to flee when a man (Ramón G. del Pomar) talking on his phone approaches. It seems from his conversation that this woman is some sort of oddity, and he plans on using her to make money. When he sees that she has started to run away, he shoots at her, but misses as she escapes into the woods. What follows is a dialog-free cat and mouse game as the man seeks to reclaim his prize.
This is a great star for first-time Spanish director Pastor, who has a previous credit working for the Costume and Wardrobe Department on “You’re Gonna Die Tonight”. The cinematography is excellent, I’d even go so far as to say feature film quality, with rich colors and focal shifts that frame the action beautifully. The score, crafted by Roly Witherow, does an excellent job of complimenting the visuals, with delicate piano noodling building to thunderous drums accompanied by ominous whispers that heighten the drama of the pursuit. Into the Mud is nothing you haven’t seen before, but the subject matter is handled with such finesse that it should appeal to anyone that enjoys this sort of “Most Dangerous Game” style of horror.