I guess if there’s one lesson parents can take from the short film Munkie it’s to not abuse their kids. That shouldn’t need to be said, but such is the world we live in, as evidenced by the fact that this is based on a true story. So what awaits you in the fifteen minute short Munkie?
Tension. The score by Karl Steven is first-rate and we are pulled in by the way it invites us to witness something unseemly. Rose (Xana Tang) is out for a date with her boyfriend Vincent (Daniel Lee) when a loud noise makes them turn as we jump in our seats. Her father blaring a horn and whisking her home, furious. He is so furious that his daughter was out on a date that he resorts to hitting and yelling. There’s little sympathy for him or his dutiful wife who does little to de-escalate the situation. Their tiger parenting is abhorrent and Rose has decided to not put up with this anymore and hatches a plan to get revenge.
Writer/director Steven Chow has some finesse. He loves putting characters and objects almost out of frame that enhance the image. We are in Rose’s world and two ideas are coming from either side. To allow herself to be beaten, or to take horrific actions in response. I won’t say what exactly happens but in its attempt to stick to the original story, Munkie comes close to falling flat. Close, but it still has enough going for it. The tension is held together by a series of good shots and a sense of sticking to the script. It steers clear of hijacking the original headline. I do have to note that after hitting Rose, the father throws the phone down in such an anti-climatic way that I had to rewind. It’s details like this that could’ve made the film even better but I digress.
This is still a good film worth studying for its technical prowess and the fascination at its core. Would a person wait years to do something so horrible? What makes a person finally snap and what does that look like? With the film being so short, we are given only a glance at the characters, the end result of what could’ve been built up with tension for years. Someone should give Chow a budget to make that happen. He is a filmmaker to keep an eye out for.
Follow HorrOrigins on Social Media