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.

16 thoughts on “Salt (2017)

  1. Bookstooge

    From a consumers perspective, this type of thing feels like a real waste of time and money.
    How many of these do people need to make before they start making real films?

    Reply
    1. Alex Good

      Well, if you’re just starting out and you can’t finance a feature it makes sense. There are plenty of examples of directors getting noticed with work like this. David Sandberg is a good recent example. And now that you can put all this stuff online and build an audience that way there’s even more incentive to do it. If you can go viral with a short it can be a real career break. As for how many of these people need to make, I guess it just depends on how long it takes before they can get funding to do something more ambitious. Movies sure aren’t cheap to make! Though with moving to shooting on digital and computer effects some costs are going down.

      Reply
      1. Alex Good Post author

        I never saw the Jolie Tomb Raider, at least that I can remember. Though I sort of think maybe I did. I liked Alicia Vikander in the part, but thought it was a lousy movie.

  2. Over-The-Shoulder

    I’m surprised you managed to write that much about a two minute clip. I watched it. Meh. Not the best calling card I’ve ever seen. Don’t see the point of them just repeatedly making shorts instead of building to something bigger. I see they did Host, but they took their sweet time.

    Reply
    1. Alex Good

      You guys are a tough crowd! It’s really hard getting a feature movie made!
      Host was good, and I’ll post on it tomorrow, but I sort of wish they’d do something more personal or original now. They’ve shown they can do good genre work, but they need a story that’s a little more fresh.

      Reply
      1. Over-The-Shoulder

        You can film on your phone’s nowadays – it’s easy! Actors will work for free, the parasites. Just write a decent script, have a decent camera, all of which are very accessible today, and get a few friend’s help with makeup, lighting, etc. and BAM! Feature film right there.

        Look forward to Host. Watched the trailer and it looked… interesting. For your sake, I hope they try something new.

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