Irish independent filmmaker Randal Plunkett gave us the opportunity to review his latest short film ‘Out There’, and we almost did not want to do it. Not because we did not like it, quite to the contrary, ‘Out There’ is brilliant. Therefore you should not be reading about it, you should see it for yourself – you really have to. Whatever we say about Randal’s newest film will take away from the experience of watching it. We promise to tread lightly and avoid spoilers. You already know the short has zombies in it, but what you don’t know is that it is really about some of the most elementary and timeless fears of man, the loss of control and the fear for someone you love.
The set up for the plot is rather simple: When a man wakes up in the woods with no memory of how he got there and blood dripping from his head he wanders in search of help and an explanation only to find more questions…
While the protagonist wanders and stumbles through his real life nightmare, he continuously gains recollection of his life, once a dream come true. Although providing some light in the darkness of his current state of being, also his memories of the past darken to the point at which they seamlessly connect with his current reality through a tragic decision he was forced to make. While the immediate impact of his decision is obvious, the ultimate consequences are left to the imagination of the audience, as is judgement of his actions. The latter not being any easier than the former.
With ‘Out There’, Randal Plunkett, the 21st Lord Dunsany, delivers a heart wrenching – and for those who appreciate psychological horror – tormenting view on one man’s life, that has slipped away from him, bringing him to the point at which moral and instinct struggle for dominance over his actions. With compelling pictures and a superb visual language, ‘Out There’ draws the audience into the story. Conor Marren’s performance as the lead character is convincing and excellent. The zombie hoard does what zombies do, with just the right amount of cruelty and gruesomeness to make your mind add to what you see, at your own free will. What is impossible to escape are the questions posed by ‘Out There’, questions at least difficult, if not impossible to answer.