Director Aaron Morgan wrings the maximum creepy atmosphere possible in five minutes in his short film Seek. This tale of a rest stop break gone terrifyingly wrong is also bolstered by convincing performances, terrific set design, and super creature effects.
Argumentative sisters Heidi (Allisyn Snider) and Jordan (Clare Grant) are obviously on a road trip that was a bad idea. Jordan reluctantly pulls over to a creaky looking rest stop so Heidi can use the restroom. After hearing some odd noises while behind a stall door, Heidi finds a smartphone on the floor that shows the fate of a man (Steve Agee) who used the facilities before her — and she realizes the same thing may happen to her.
The practical effects are incredible, and that should come as no surprise, considering the creature was brought to cinematic life by two-time Academy Award nominee Arjen Tuiten (Wonder, Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife) based on concept designs from New Zealand’s WETA Workshop, along with VFX by Rogelio Salinas and Todd Perry (Black Panther, Avengers, and Doctor Strange).
Morgan directs the action wonderfully. The screenplay, cowritten by Morgan and Eric Vespe, is taut and lean, starting right off the bat with tension between the sisters and then steadily building suspense once Heidi makes the decision to go into the restroom alone. The set design is eerie and icky, and Taylor Camarot’s cinematography captures everything splendidly. The cast is solid, with Snider getting most of the screen time, and Sarah Anne Williams also deserving mention for her work as the chilling beast.(4 / 5)
Seek won Best Horror Short at FilmQuest 2020, which took place online and at The Velour in Provo, Utah, from May 21–29, 2021.