This twisted comedy short uses a sci-fi premise to build a strange and hilarious tale of infidelity. An innocent encounter between two strangers – writer Michael Spicer and Rachel Stubbings – in a hotel reception becomes something much more absurd as it turns out the mosquito buzzing between them has exchanged more than just their blood.
To reveal all of the twists would be to spoil half the fun of this short: much of the comedy comes from the abrupt changes in tone as the characters try to understand their new circumstances. The deadpan delivery from the likes of accomplished British comics Richard Herring and Alice Lowe not only brings more laughs, but also unsettles the viewer. No one in this short seems to have any idea what’s happening, but no one is that desperate to stop the madness. Instead they just accept each bizarre turn of events as it comes, letting reality slip out of their fingers like the string of a balloon.
The convoluted and fantastical scenario can leave the viewer clutching at straws, but the plot resolves itself so neatly that you want to immediately watch it again to enjoy all the jokes in a fresh context. Michael Spicer’s script is superb, grounding the unusual plot with a mundane and very British sense of humour. Paul (Richard Herring) quietly explaining that he mistakenly had sex with a stranger because he “didn’t want to upset the applecart” is a perfect and hilarious example.
All the cast are in fine form, and director Ben Mallaby helps their performances shine with long takes held in wide shots. He shapes the mood well, introducing an increasingly noir look with the aid of DoP Aaron Rogers. The composition and sickly yellow lighting of the hotel room scene are a particular highlight.
Check out more of Ben Mallaby’s work at mallaby.uk
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CAST: Michael Spicer, Alice Lowe, Richard Herring, Rachel Stubbings
DIRECTOR: Ben Mallaby
WRITER: Michael Spicer
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Aaron Rogers
EDITOR: Sami Abusamra
SYNOPSIS: There’s a mosquito that takes more than just your blood…