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Safely to Shore

Written by: Matthew R. Ford  |   Directed by: Matthew R. Ford |  Genre: Drama / Thriller  |   Length: 31 minutes

  A woman sits on her bed cutting her arm and not for the first time, as what looks like a Tic-Tac-Toe board has been scratched in earlier. A man walks into her room and tells her to get ready for the night. He is obviously her pimp and he really means business. Judging from the bruises on the face of the woman, he tends to get physical. A woman stands within a wooded area. It is cold outside and she is dressed in what looks like a night gown. An older couple find her and carefully bring her home. Unsure of what to do. This woman doesn’t have a bruised up face; but clearly she has been abused in some way. Why else would she be standing outside freezing? She also has what looks to be a glass ashtray, or jewellery holder.

 The first woman picks up her Jon. Although he doesn’t say much, they seem to know each other. Once back inside her room, he urges her to get out. Get out of prostitution and leave with him. Things get ugly when her pimp comes into the room and realizes there’s no sex taking place. He gets angry and a quick but violent struggle takes place. The woman and her friend flee the scene. After all this is when Safely to Shore begins it’s real story. One of abuse and just how much the mind can take before it snaps. Ford also throws in a sort-of twist ending within the 3’rd act, that wraps up this dark short film. This isn’t a title with a happy ending but maybe it’s a fitting one. An ending that mirrors real life.

 Safely to Shore is shot really well. The audio is clear and the edit is haunting. There are no glimpses of good fortune around the corner and Matthew Ford makes sure the movie feels dire at all times. The foreboding atmospherics really make this title one that will make you queasy. Like at any moment something drastic is going to happen. This drastic event does unfold, but didn’t bring the sense of closure I had hoped for. That’s not what this movie is about. This movie simply wants to show us possible avenues that abuse can travel within the mind. And show us some possible end results. It’s pretty scary. The actors all bring their own sense of dread and disbelief to the table. Uncomfortable silences and broken dialog all add to the pressure of the movie, but some parts feel weird beyond belief. Scenes where the prostitute and her friend stand strangely in the doorway at a mans house, had me wondering why the guy would let them in? I would have been freaked out and slammed the door. But it does all kind of make sense when the big reveal is finally upon you. In a round about kind of way.

 This is a movie that relies on it’s atmosphere to keep it’s audience. I can get a little messy but not so much you can’t figure out what the filmmaker is trying to say. Safely to Shore is a sickly film that uses it’s illness to keep you watching. For just that reason I give this movie a four star review. Good job and thank you for reading.

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