Blake Ridder’s short film ‘Psychosis’ follows the story of Mark Wallace, played by Louis James, a man who finds himself trapped inside a nightclub, without the possibility to get out. He tries every door, every possible exit, and nothing seems to work; right after, a bartender can be seen at the bar. He is thorough with everything he does, then a woman appears, and they talk. Mark does not understand what is happening to him or why he can't leave. Nadia, played by Sarah Alexandra Marks, tells him to stay calm, but Mark cannot remember anything. He finds out that everything he sees is just a projection, a dream transposed in the form of artificial reality to make the mind be at ease. The story behind Mark’s blackout is way darker than one can expect, and the only way out is a long journey through galaxies.
‘Psychosis’ has a highly dense script that can easily blow your mind if you pay close attention to the details. Every line, every small gesture is a clue that unravels a deep secret hidden in between the lines. For instance, when Mark gets hit in the face by the bouncer, he feels pain, but the aftermath is hugely different than it usually is after a punch in the face. Also, when Mark roams around the club initially, there is a picture of Mao Zedong on the wall, an apparent reference to a gated community, a place from where it is almost impossible to get out. So, right before the dialogue tells us where this story is going, Ridder hints at what to expect in a brilliant way.
The whole plot reminded us of ‘Interstellar’ in terms of memory alteration and the relativity of time; these two topics are exceptionally well combined here, giving a fantastic blend of ambiguity and certainties. Blake Ridder created one of the most complex worlds we’ve seen in a short film in a long time, and for this, among other things, we strongly recommend ‘Psychosis’ to anyone who wants to travel inside their mind without any flight lessons.
Written by Vlad A. G