“Detainment” (2018)

Based a real life, infamous, and horrifically shocking murder, this dramatization is a haunting and grim experience, that is practically guaranteed to make your stomach churn. This is one of those films where you can only sit back in disbelief and wonder how such a terrible thing could’ve ever happened. The directing in this is fantastic, as the film wisely stays in the interrogation rooms for most of the runtime, creating a rather claustrophobic environment, and very wisely chooses to not even attempt a recreation of the actual murder (the words of the boys are more than enough to get the idea across). The acting in this is also particularly strong, especially from the two boys, which is noteworthy considering most of the time child actors aren’t well known for being the best. Ely Solan in particular is the real scene-stealer, portraying a Jon Venables that you find yourself both feeling surprisingly sorry for at times, but also feeling genuinely and overall uneasy about. And more subtly, the film raises a terrifying question about how exactly one should handle a situation like this. How do you interrogate boys so young over a crime so horrific, and how do you go about punishing them? As a short film, this is incredible work. From a filmmaking perspective, everything clicks into place; the perfect pacing, the editing, and the cinematography. It’s definitely not for everyone, but this is one of the most unnerving and genuinely disturbing films, short or otherwise, ever made.

Rating: 5/5

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