‘Staycation’ is a Captivating, Unsettling Slice of Experimental Storytelling

By  · Published on April 25th, 2017

Short of the Day

From writer-director Zach Fleming

Okay, so I’m not entirely sure just what’s going on in Zach Fleming’s Staycation, but I am 150% sure that I love it. Fleming has taken elements of comedy, romance, and drama and woven them into a narratively experimental short film that isn’t quite horror but comes damn close in the most intriguing, intelligent, and subversive ways.

An unnamed man (Rob Malone) visits New York City. His girlfriend was supposed to come with him but she’s not there. But she’s kinda there. Or at least some woman (Joanna Arnow) is, but the man can’t see her. She can see him, though. And her throat is open.

The story of Staycation occurs entirely within the Air bnb the man has taken for his stay, which gives the film a sense of forbiddenness, this space that’s his but not really his, and when you add this to the voyeurism of the woman/spirit/figment/memory/metaphor of the cut-throat woman, what you get is a haunting, ephemeral, comically unsettling experience that will follow you around in your thoughts as surely as whatever that thing is following our hero.

We found this over at NoBudge, which also has links to more of Fleming’s work, as well as a couple films from Ms. Arnow, including the very funny Bad at Dancing. Once you’ve got Staycation under your skin, give these other shorts a look as well.

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