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In a remote cottage in the woods, Stephen (Sebastian Labissiere) prepares lunch while speaking with Davis (Jeff Lawson) about a previous incident that day. Screams break a silence between the two men and the secrets of the cottage start to appear.

Ellie is a film that requires balance, both in how it’s written about, and how the film is actually put together. Director Morgana McKenzie does a wonderful job of slowly revealing the secrets that Stephen has, always making sure to surprise viewers at every turn.

Things are never what they appear to be in this short. Every time we figure something out, McKenzie throws another twist in that not only reveals more of the story, but takes the previous revelations into a new direction.

Anchoring Ellie are the performances from Labissiere, who is almost silent the entire film, and Lawson, who brings a good deal of uneasy menace to his role. It winds up being Labissiere who steals the show though, as he gets bring different emotions to life as Stephen. It’s this character that changes the most in the brief short film, pushing us away at first before drawing us in to the situation in the remote cottage.