Short of the Day: ‘Losing It’ Captures the Surreal Horror of Prom Night

A haunting, atmospheric nail-biter of a film.
By  · Published on June 13th, 2017

A haunting, atmospheric nail-biter of a film.

Ah, prom. It’s more than just a date, just a dance, it’s a rite of passage comprised of many levels: finding a date, renting the tux or buying the dress, the limo, meeting the parents, situations of peer pressure, after-party caste systems, sexual connotations – it’s a maelstrom of emotions and social cues, expectations and actualities, and for most of us, looking back on prom night is like viewing a surreal home movie that’s a blend of comedy, horror, drama, and maybe even romance.

For writer-director Henry Jinings, prom is a springboard into the at-times abstract and at-times macabre short Losing It, a feverish, atmospheric, and deeply-nuanced film that will haunt you in the best possible way, and establishes Jinings as one of the most unique and fully-realized fresh talents I’ve covered in this column. His film conjures the work of Carpenter, Lynch, Aronfosky, but also newer names like Trey Edward Shults (It Comes at Night), David Robert Mitchell (It Follows), and Robert Eggers (The VVitch).

A nervous, awkward kid shows up at his date’s house on the big night and is treated to a xenophobic tirade from her father while waiting for her to finish getting ready. And that’s really as smooth as the night goes. From there the awkwardness spreads like a blood stain, creeping into the more sinister terrain specific to adolescence. I’m pretty sure I didn’t blink for the film’s entire 12-minute runtime, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t, that’s how strongly Losing It captivated me. Every frame is drenched in macabre promise and oddly endearing sentimentality. You need to experience it.

Losing It made its online premiere over at, a wonderful site you should all be following. Thanks to them for tipping us to Jinings.

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