Rear Window (2020) is said to be based on Lovecraft horror, however, if one is not aware of who the monster Cthulhu is, one might not necessarily get a cosmic horror impression from this short movie. At least the monster produced by writer/director Maxim Beliayev in this short brings the movie home from arthouse melodrama to apocalyptic disaster movie in a bleak and booming ending.
Rear Window follows a man on the phone with his friend, griping about quarantining while cooking a fish dinner. The (all too loud) TV news program in the background has opposing reports of the quarantine being a necessary precaution, or, a global hoax meant to mystify the masses from what is really going on. Touching on the recent pentagon videos of UFOs, the program is suddenly shut off, as a disastrous storm brings a horrifying flood. Trapped inside, the man now only has his rear window to look out into the old world, a window through which he sees a terrifying future come to fruition.
The structure of Rear Window seemed to go through transitions — the beginning had the real-world feel of present times, the mid-section had a dreamy, surreal feel similar to European melodramas, and the ending was a post-apocalyptic disaster movie in the form of a destructive monster. The monster in Rear Window was visually imposing, and the sound design for its roar and the loud volume chosen for it were excellent exclamation points to end this movie on.
The monster itself reminded me more of kaiju monsters such as Godzilla rather than something sent from outer space. The monster’s placement among city skyscrapers seemed to represent destruction, and particularly the destruction of Man at his own doing, but instead of representing the hydrogen bomb like in Godzilla’s case, this monster may instead represent our own destruction due to our lack of response to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Rear Window would have been near perfect in portraying this, had it overcome some technical difficulties in sound and had a lead that could give a more convincing performance.
Our anxiety towards a post-pandemic future is on full display in Rear Window. Though most of the acting was a bit amateur and the volume level of the TV program in the background was competing with the dialogue I needed to hear from the lead actor, overall, Rear Window was enjoyable, mostly thanks to the powerful but sadly all too brief monster reveal. Watch below and see for yourself!
Adrienne Reese is a fan of movies - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and came to the horror genre by way of getting over her fear of... everything. Adrienne also writes for the Frida Cinema, and in addition to film enjoys cooking, Minesweeper, and binge-watching Game of Thrones.