One of the best parts of October (aside from the obvious) is that many filmmakers make their short films available for online viewing during the month, and today we have an extra special treat for you in the form of Gabriel Olson’s The Bridge Partner.
We’ve all seen stalker stories with a crazed roommate, jilted lover, vengeful ex-con, and even super-fans entrapping their favorite celebrities. But what happens when a timid housewife is jolted into a fight for survival–and sanity–when her new weekly bridge partner whispers a threatening message in her ear?
With something for both horror fans and casual Halloween suspense-seekers, The Bridge Partner (review) is now live online after an impressive 38-festival run around the world. The Hitchcock-ian 13-minute piece was written and directed by Gabriel Olson and has earned numerous accolades, including the Wes Craven Horror Film Award at the Catalina Film Festival, Best Horror/Suspense Film at the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, and the Audience Award at D.C. Shorts, as well as playing in seven Academy Award-qualifying festivals.
The Bridge Partner is based on a noir-ish short story by Hugo Award-winning fantasist Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) and even features a cameo by the author. It stars prolific character actor Beth Grant (No Country for Old Men, Donnie Darko) as housewife Mattie Whalen, four-time Emmy nominee Sharon Lawrence (“NYPD Blue,” “Desperate Housewives”) as her bridge partner/stalker Olivia Korhonen, and Oscar nominee Robert Forster (The Descendants, Jackie Brown) as her dismissive husband, Don Whalen.
“We usually don’t have the benefit of knowing who’s against us in life, so I found the psychological dance these ordinary characters engage in to be much more haunting than that of a typical slasher story,” says Olson. He went on to mention, “Our villain is more of an agent of change, equally content to destroy or transform the protagonist.”
With gender representation in film being such a hot topic, this Bechdel test-passing thriller centers on two women in a fight for their lives whose conflict has nothing to do with a man. How timely! And entertaining as well. After you’ve checked out the short, let us know what you think!