Maybe this time is the only socially acceptable time to talk about quitters profoundly. Two teens are at a picnic in the middle of the forest. They seem stressed and unfocused like someone is pointing a gun to their heads. With every move they make, their bodies tremble like leaves in the full wind; they don’t seem comfortable, and this creates a strange general feeling of danger even for the viewer. At one point, they leap and start wandering through the forest until they find a car waiting for them. They open the trunk only to find a hose, and from this moment on, the purpose of the film becomes crystal clear.
What made this short film an enjoyable watch to us (despite its petrifying atmosphere) is the very fear the two characters are feeling. They know why they are in that forest; they made up their minds, so the only thing left to do is the act itself. But when it comes to executing it, they both get cold feet. This whole scene reminded us of one crucial part from the brilliant series ‘The Leftovers’, where the followers of the Guilty Remnant cult were harming themselves because they thought life is not worth living anymore after the sudden departure. They smoke, they terrorize the neighbourhoods, and finally, they go rogue on each other. As in the series mentioned above, in ‘Decliners’, the protagonists seem like there’s some unseen force that pushes them forward into doing their thing, and Georg Tüchert, the director, manages to capture this terrifying feeling masterfully. When the girl walks through the forest, she faints and falls on the ground. Also, the boy throws up right before getting inside the car; both actions are looking unnatural to us as if they are doing a messed up dare, but these are precisely what makes this short film unique.
The short stands out by being one hundred per cent unpredictable. We’ve watched it twice, and each time we felt like we did not know what to expect. The silence that dominates this film hides incredible mysteries our ears are not ready to listen to yet.
Written by Vlad A. G