Sci-Fi Short: ‘Exit Strategy’ – Review

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If you need something that will instantly grab you and pull you into it’s story, ‘Exit Strategy’, it just the short you need to watch! This Sci-Fi short was a standout at the Tribeca Festival and received very high praise. The film went on to win the Grand Prize at Louisiana Film Festival and it received a Short Film Achievement Award at the Mammoth Film Festival. So, if you need any proof that this short deserves your attention, I just gave it to you.

Exit Strategy

‘Exit Strategy’, follows two brothers, Matt and Shane, who are stuck in a time loop. They are trying to prevent a fatal outcome, but fail every time. As the viewer you don’t know that they are stuck in a loop, but Shane seems to know everything that is about to happen. Immediately, I am intrigued. How does he know what’s about to happen? Why does he keep writing in his little note pad? He’s a very odd fellow, but you can sense a sort of sad determination about him.

Shane has convinced his brother that there is a wildfire is about to start and they are the only ones who can stop it. On their drive to the forest, Shane points out multiple things that happen, before they happen. Matt has no problem following his brother, even if he isn’t quite sure what is happening. He trusts his brother, despite not having seen him in about 4 years.

Matt tries to have a conversation with Shane and to catch up, but Shane is so focused on what he needs to do in order to get to the forest. It’s really heartbreaking to see how detached he is with Matt. Even if the disaster is imminent, why can’t he take some time to be a little bit interested in what was going on with his brother? I have to admit, I was starting to get upset with him about how cold he was to Matt. Until, the truth of what was happening came to light.

No Exit

The brothers made it to the forest and ran off some teenage girls having a little fire. Matt realized that their camp fire wouldn’t have gotten out of control. He demands Shane to explain what was really going on. Shane had a secret and it was even more devastating than his attitude towards his brother. Shane had been reliving this loop in attempts to save Matt from a fire that breaks out in town. Everything he tried, Matt still ended up dead and he did what he could in order to keep him away from that fire. This news doesn’t sit well with Matt. There’s a struggle and a slight shove from Shane, sends Matt to his death, once again.

How do you save your brother when every attempt continues to fail? How do you save your brother when he still chooses to go to that fire that kills him? Can you change what is destined to happen? Shane goes back, once again, but this time he does things a little different. Shane realizes that there is no exit strategy and he has to let Matt die. Talk about heart wrenching! I was an emotional wreck at the end and I didn’t want him to stop trying, even if he did have a point.

I’ll say it again, if you have not seen ‘Exit Strategy’, you need to! It was amazing in every way and I can see why it won so many awards. So, head on over to Vimeo and check it out.

 

Check Out, ‘Exit Strategy’, on Vimeo

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J’Dean Meisner