Daily Archives: August 11, 2021

Salt (2017)

*. Salt is a very short horror film, of the kind that used to be known as a calling card. I don’t know if they’re still called calling cards. What the term meant was that it was supposed to give producers and studios an idea of the kind of work you might be expected to do.
*. There’s no need for a calling card to be very risky or inventive. In fact, that might be counterproductive. Instead the point is to just to show that you can do work in a particular genre or vein.
*. That’s one reason I can think of for Salt being so unexceptional. A woman is nursing a sick child in a house. There’s a demon in the house and to protect themselves the woman and the girl have to be surrounded by a circle of salt all the time, which creates a barrier the demon can’t get through (though he also has trouble with doors, for some reason).
*. With a running time of only 2 minutes you can’t expect any of this to be explained, and it isn’t. There’s a post-apocalyptic feel to what’s going on, which might explain why the woman doesn’t phone for help. I don’t know what they’re eating, or why all the medicine is on another floor of the house, or why all the rest of the stuff in the house is piled up like they’re getting ready to move. You just have to flow with the story as given until you end with the usual business of a car that won’t start and the sort of punchline that so often ends a short film.
*. The CGI is surprisingly OK, though the demon itself is nothing special, and the team of director Rob Savage and writer Jed Shepherd, who’d done the Dawn of the Deaf short, were now set to debut with a feature, Host, that would be similarly effective, professionally turned out on a low budget, and frankly unoriginal. Not that originality was the point, but still I feel like they’re a team that’s been showing a lot of talent without much creativity thus far. Or put another way, they’re still handing out calling cards.