Alfonso Otero's short 'The Caregiver' tells the story of Eva (played by Maria Ibarra), a young woman who works as an in-home caregiver. When she arrives at the patient's house, she follows the protocol; she puts on a mask and wears the white suit, as the professional calls. She goes into the room and takes care of the patient, but at some point, her eyes are seeing more than they should. She goes around the house looking for valuables and eventually finds some. At some point, she messages one of her friends, and the woman comes over. They take advantage of this situation and start to party a little bit. Little do they know what is going to happen next.
Otero's short surprised us in many ways. First of all, it creates suspense like no other; there are some moments when we tend to believe that something unusual is going to happen based on how the tension rises, but Otero calms the situation down by transforming the action into a false alarm. For example, when Eva goes around the house to find valuables, there is a perfect spot to create a unique climax, and it is somewhat predictable, but Otero does not do that. Instead, it builds up to another moment where the surprise factor will be more intense. Secondly, the characters are perfectly crafted to fit the story. Eva and Goat (played by Cari Ramos) are perfect victims of a wicked mind. Their greed will be punished big time in ways they cannot imagine, and there is a particular pleasure in watching justice being made. Thirdly, the film's tone indicates that something terrible will happen, but the mood of the story tells it otherwise. Otero's remarkable mix in 'The Caregiver' gave us mixed feelings whilst watching it. There is the dark tone that predicts something grim, and at the same time, there is the carefree attitude the characters have that induces an unproblematic state of mind.
'The Caregiver' is a rollercoaster that prepares you for a fun ride and then shuts the lights and gives you a fantastic jump scare.
Written by Vlad A. G