Fatal Pictures // 2010 // 20 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Daniel Carlton (Retired) // January 14th, 2011
None of you are special.
Worm is a fascinating film delving into the mind of a highly disturbed high school teacher. The pacing of the film is masterful, concluding exactly when it needed to, with a timed resolution better than anything I've seen in a long time.
Geoffrey Dodd is not your normal high school teacher, or is he? He may seem kind and caring, but the truth is something completely different. Today may look no different than any other day at school, but inside the mind of Geoffrey plays the darkest of thoughts, looking down on everyone around him, thus feeding the already giant worm growing inside.
Worm is an peculiar short film giving us a glimpse into the mind of fictional high school teacher Geoffrey Dodd. He is the kind of teacher who enjoys failing his students. He hates his job, he hates himself, and every meaningless person in his insignificant life. We meet Geoffrey while he is smoking in his car and hoping to win big from a few scratch offs. The routine of his mundane career is made completely apparent in just a few quick shots. We follow him through his school day and quickly learn how he truly feels about his occupation. However, his cynicism is completely hidden from the world as he is somehow able to keep up appearances on a daily basis. He participates in the lotto pool with the other teachers and keeps his conversations with his co-workers extra friendly. The reality couldn't be farther from the truth as he stares at his peers and students with complete animosity.
Worm isn't merely a dark short film following a teacher's thoughts as some of what he thinks is very funny and is probably meant to be. We hear him mocking a person in his mind, but he says the opposite to keep up the nice guy appearance. Some of his thoughts are so brutal that one can't help but laugh out of pure shock at the harshness of his personal commentary. The worm that is Geoffrey's mind eventually ate at my own ability to laugh at him. At the exact time when I could no longer stomach listening to Dodd's evil musings, the film came to a conclusion. In that, Worm perfectly executed the building up of a viewer's emotion and resolved it. Worm accomplished this beautifully and I think another few minutes of narration would have severely harmed the picture.
Worm tells the story of a particular teacher's school day, but also plants a worm of sorts in the viewers' minds. We assume that Dodd is the kind of person who will eventually "go postal" and kill everyone around him. He is the kind of guy of which everyone will say, "he seemed so normal," and that's where the creep factor comes into play. The irony is that he may not ever reach the point of snapping. He could very well go through his entire life trapped in his own world of cynicism and hate. This begs the question: how many people in each of our lives go about with such an intense level of pent up anger unbeknownst to us? Hmm...it makes me wonder.
Worm might be a difficult film to track down, but it is worth the short twenty minutes of your life to view it. This film might not be for everyone, as the main chracter's inner voice is quite twisted and evil, but no one can deny its ability to garner some sort of response from the viewer.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Fatal Pictures
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 20 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated