The Good Samaritan
Directed by: Chris Suffield
Written By: Chris Suffield & Jim Parker
STARRING: Jon-Scott Clark, Jack Horner, Zoe Edwards
The Good Samaritan, a short thriller directed by Chris Suffield, begins deceptively innocently. Feeling almost as though it might be a romantic comedy; the film opens in a domestic setting with two friends in a living room. One, Alex, has lost his phone, and when he calls it, is greeted by a flirtatious female voice. He sets out to meet this mystery woman - the supposed ‘Good Samaritan’ of the title - to retrieve the phone; but in doing so discovers that the caller is not as innocent as he initially believed, and events take an unexpectedly dark turn.
Lead actor Jon-Scott Clark is sympathetic and believable as Alex; his performance is both naturalistic and compelling, which helps maintain interest in the character’s fate. The story has resonances of Charlie Brooker’s series Black Mirror, with a protagonist forced to act against his will by an unidentified voice who informs him, ‘do what you’re told, or the people you love will suffer’. The tone quickly shifts to dark and brooding, with the remainder of the film shot in night-time street light, creating a suitably ominous atmosphere. The cinematography in these night scenes is excellent, particularly given the film’s low budget. Alex is surrounded by darkness, reflecting the cryptic, shadowy nature of his predicament.
The concept is interesting, but it isn’t entirely explained as to why Alex has been targeted; or the purpose of his mission. He is given short shrift when he asks, ‘What did I do? Why are you doing this to me?’ and the answers to such questions remain unanswered throughout. The action of the film could perhaps be interpreted as a metaphor for terrorism; an unsuspecting individual duped into sacrificing himself for a cause he does not fully understand. That said, Alex is a likeable character who feels more like an innocent victim who resists his fate than someone who participates in some way in his own downfall - and in this sense the terrorism metaphor, if indeed that is the filmmaker’s intention, falls down slightly.
The lack of answers and reasons for Alex having been targeted did ultimately feel a little unsatisfying; it made the film feel more concept-driven than character-driven, and reduced the impact of the conclusion.
Nevertheless, this is an interesting, imaginative and well-made short, with a strong lead performance, and impressive production values for a low-budget film.
Watch the Trailer:
Want us to write a professional review of your film? Go to our submissions page and select 'Film Review'