Short Film Review: TIME TO KILL (2014) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Monday, 27 October 2014

Short Film Review: TIME TO KILL (2014)

While this short film doesn't quite reaches to its fullest potential, TIME TO KILL is a decent and well-acted offbeat comedy.

Normally in a movie that showcased a hitman or a killer, he will appear at a place -- such as a house or apartment -- and waits for the target to arrive home before killing the person right away. Such scene is nothing special, but have you ever wondered the time in between that a hitman has to endure while waiting for his target to arrive home? That is the premise for Justin Rettke's TIME TO KILL, an acclaimed short film which recently won Best Short at the Other Venice Film Festival, as well as Achievement in International Filmmaking at the SoCal Independent Film Festival.


One evening, a professional hitman named Harris (Christopher T. Wood) sneaks into the house of a target (Deacon Ledges) and sits on the couch with a silenced pistol pointing at the door, while waiting for him to come home. As the time passes by, Harris becomes restless since the target isn't going to show up anytime soon. Adding to his frustration is the various phone calls that he has to deal with from his personal life.

No doubt the quirky premise alone is fun to watch for. Justin Rettke's direction is fine, while the screenplay -- written by Rettke, Scott D. Frank and Christopher T. Wood -- is worthy for a few chuckles.

Technical credits are especially top notch, with kudos goes to Michael Pessah's visually appealing cinematography and D.L. Vallone's subtle production design for its house setting, as well as Brandon Vacarro's catchy score.

But the real deal here is Christopher T. Wood's impressive one-man performance as Harris. Not only he made a fine imposing figure as a hitman, but also shows credibility during some of his lighter moments in the comedy department as well.

The scene where Harris expresses his discontent over his annoying mother's phone call. 

Although this short film is blessed with good acting and an interesting premise, TIME TO KILL feels somewhat anticlimactic, especially during the ending when the target finally shows up at the front door.


Despite the shortcoming, TIME TO KILL is a reasonably enjoyable short film while I personally hope to see more of Christopher T. Wood and Justin Rettke in the future.

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