Gerontophobia is the fear of the elderly. I think it’s a thing that all children go through at some point. Being faced with your own mortality can be an overwhelming experience for someone in the throes of youth. Couple that with suffocating poverty, and you have the framework of AGATHA.
Most of the plot is left ambiguous. It’s not in that frustrating “what the hell is going on?” kind of way, but more of an intriguing mystery. We have a wealthy family with a dark secret locked away in an upstairs room. Who or what this thing is remains unknown, however it becomes quite clear that the family is uninterested in going upstairs themselves. Instead, they pay a local orphan girl to deliver raw meat with a very clear set of instructions.
For a micro-budget short, it handily accomplishes what it sets out to do. You can believe that our characters are in the 19th century. You’re nervous for the little girl, even though you’re not sure why.
Hell, they even create a convincing storm, which isn’t something I would want to undertake on a minuscule budget. The biggest complaint, if I’m going to have one, is everything looks a bit too “neat”. Costumes look brand new, and there may be a pair of shoes that look a little too modern. This is clearly nothing more than a side effect of having financial constraints, so take this criticism with a grain of salt.
With all short films I ask myself, was I entertained, would I share it with someone else, and does it show off the filmmakers talent? With AGATHA I’d say yes to all three. It left me wanting more. Personally, I would like to see this be a springboard for a full length feature. If you happen to be going to Screamfest in L.A., check out AGATHA on October 23rd at 2:00 PM.