BITS pairs up Rob Grant’s Alive with Alex Coleman’s To Catch a Mouse. It’s about a man (Gys de Villiers) trapping a younger man for killing his wife. This short film kink shamed me although sure, it’s a comment on the dark side hiding behind the veneer of respectability. It’s also kind of meta with that one scene where the man records himself with his victim. And shorts like this have a twist, but this one is fun.
Alive has its surprises in telling the story of an amnesiac young man (Thomas Cocquerel) and an amnesiac young woman (Camille Stopps) with days worth of blood all over their skin. They’re in a sanatorium, under the care of a sadistic caregiver (Angus McFayden). Its surfaces are gory without apology in the same way that its scenes are campy. There’s a scene where they exercise which is the good kind of nonsense.
Its middle section is where it unavoidably decides to go through the motions. The man and the woman, as audiences know, will decide that the place they’re in is not for them and to eventually want to get out of there. It’s a matter of how long until both will put two and two together. But it seems to take its time with those trajectories. Cue the chase scenes between patient and their crazy ‘doctor’.
Nonetheless, this makes me curious to find out which hospital all of this is taking place. It’s also gripping to watch the two patients trying to survive the labyrinth in which they find themselves. Both of them are smart and aren’t passive victims, especially the woman, and watching them finally take an active step in running away from the hospital is a relief. And again, the twists about the patients’ identities are actually good.