PLAY. PAUSE. KILL. (2020) Short Film Review

The dating scene is crazy nowadays, with meeting people online and through dating apps being the primary means of finding each other. That is bound to be a little risky, right? But how risky could it be? Could it cost you your life? This is explored in the French short film, PLAY. PAUSE. KILL.

PLAY. PAUSE. KILL. is the latest short film from writer/director David Teixeira (Ouroboros 2018 – read our review here). The film stars newcomer Anasthasia Czajka and Lucas Dutilleul (Woke 2017).

Julie is a loner. She spends her Saturday off at home trying to write a new screenplay. She keeps receiving messages from H – someone she might be interested in. Julie finally succumbs to H’s charm and invites H over… After all, we all need some contact now and then, right?

I enjoyed PLAY. PAUSE. KILL. It was stylishly lit with colored giallo lighting, reminiscent of the European horror films of the ’70s and ’80s. It has a wonderfully catchy electronic, ’80s-influenced score. I like how the film plays with genre expectations and doesn’t give the viewer quite what they have learned to expect. Lucas Dutilleul does a good job as Henry, alternating perfectly from suave gentleman to sleazeball. I also enjoyed Anasthasia Czajka as Julie. She was able to show the character’s many sides: shy and awkward, strong and extremely sexy, eerily calm, disturbed and fucking scary. To say any more would ruin the surprises that PLAY. PAUSE. KILL. has in store. This is definitely a story I could see being expanded into a full-length feature film. I would love to see that as I feel there is much more to Julie’s story.

Final Thoughts

PLAY. PAUSE. KILL. is a fun and twisted little film full of stylish lighting, a catchy score, twists and turns, and a powerhouse performance from Anasthasia Czajka. I would love to see this become a feature. Highly recommended.

About Charlie Cargile

Central Illinois based film journalist. Lover of cinema of all varieties but in love with films with an independent spirit. Elder Emo. Cat Dad. Metalhead.

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