AN backpack-carrying woman trudges through what appears to be a sunlit lawn, fidgeting with a water bottle with only a few drops left in it. Things would only seem slightly serious if she hadn’t also just passed another woman, who was piled up a few yards from the path, screaming in pain for help—and she walked past with a steely look on her face. Thereafter we see the path she walks is marked with gravel and is barely a foot wide, and we immediately sense that she has no intention of deviating from it, not for any reason.
But why? What’s out there? Who made the path and where does it lead? Barely enough information is revealed in Narrow, a short movie by writer, director and lead actor Anna Chazelle. Divided by Short of the week, it unfolds 10 incredibly exciting minutes as we follow the protagonist through a landscape where a false step means unspeakable ruin.
After the screaming woman in the beginning, the vicious temptations only increase from there – oh, the can of food that the makeshift lasso juuust won’t reach – and soon grow into psychological horrors so horrible you can understand why the walker decides to do what she does. We’re never lucky with what follows its every move — or any idea of what it wants, or what kind of apocalyptic event has given it so much power. But as Chazelle tells Short of the Week, that’s kind of the point: “To me, horror clarifies what’s really important in our lives by taking away the superfluous. I like stories with simple but imaginative premises that are approached in a grounded, authentic way. I especially liked the idea of playing with sound – I’ve always been particularly impressed by movies, especially horror, which aren’t afraid of silence.”
Wondering where our RSS feed has gone? You can get the new one here.