Lasiurus and the Perils of Ignoring the Apocalypse

By  · Published on November 8th, 2016

Short of the Day

A succinct horror film that will encourage you to put down the phone every now and again.

One of the most memorable and effective scenes in Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead comes the day the zombie apocalypse begins. Shaun (Simon Pegg) is so buried in the rut of his morning routine that as he leaves his house for work at the appointed time, taking his regular route, stopping at the corner market for refreshment as he does every single day, he doesn’t notice the chaos and walking corpses now plaguing his neighborhood. It’s a commentary (that pops up everywhere in the film) on how modern life has already rendered us into zombies via a generally out-of-whack work-life balance, alienating technology, and a culture centered on entertaining distractions.

In Wright’s film, this scene is played for thoughtful humor, but it always struck me as one of the most chilling scenes as well, the idea that we can be so in-tune to the little things – absorbed even, obsessed – that we miss the bigger, more significant, and more detrimental things. You can see that everywhere you look these days, even in regards to this year’s U.S. Presidential election, in which everyone, media, government and citizenry alike, has been more focused on the candidates’ personalities than their qualifications.

You can also see it in the outstanding short film Lasiurus from writer-director Marcus Alqueres which tackles the idea of being so absorbed with oneself that you’re out of touch with the world to a dangerous degree. Julian (Leonardo Miggiorin), like Shaun, is a modern-day urbanite whose routine has blinded him to the world he’s walking through. Add to this the double-whammy of a dead phone, and Julian inadvertently sets himself up for a very rude awakening into an apocalyptic scenario. Alqueres does a wonderful job of invoking a sense of coming dread from the first frame thanks to intimate framing, moody lighting and taut pacing. His short works are often proof of concept pieces he hopes to turn into features, and Lasiurus would certainly seem to be rich with narrative possibilities; it’s a haunting film steeped in atmosphere and intelligence, and easily worth seven minutes of your precious, mindless time.

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