Do you remember ‘Ted’? Yes, the talking teddy bear, the one that smoked pot and had affairs with women, the one that broke hearts and helped a buddy in need. Well, that movie was a funny and inspiring one, but let’s take a moment to imagine how all those things would have been if everything was presented in a dark manner. The response can easily be found in Zhihui Yang’s ‘Billy’s Bear’. The storyline is simple and frightening – a man offers his girlfriend a teddy bear as a gift for her birthday. He does it because it reminded him of a special moment they both shared, however the woman isn't impressed by this and has a massive breakdown. What happens next seems like it's been ripped from a Stephen King novel.
There is one particular shot we really enjoyed, and we think it sums up the whole atmosphere of the film; the shot of the open door that is the main focus in between the two sides of the story. The open door here is the path through where the story flows. It’s really impressive to think of it as the wormhole between universes, between actions. That door sums up the story that could be told but was preferred to be omitted, as the narrative works either way.
The ending is grim, and you have to be strong enough to really get over the phone ringing in your ears for a long time after the movie has ended. The spook factor is definitely high in this short, without having explicit scenes of violence and murder. The whole implied story has the power to get sharply in your brain and mess your thoughts. If it’s for us, we would definitely place Zhihui Yang’s short somewhere in between ‘SAW’ and 'Silence of the Lambs’, and we won’t have to comment why... because the movie says it all.
Written by Vlad A. G