Updated: Mar 3, 2022
Officer Tony's first day back on the beat. And it takes everything he's got to finally face the world.
Given the incredibly lean run time of director Josh Soskin’s punchline comedy short film, it is impressive just how much information he is able to convey in the opening moments of the film, and the degree of comedic set up occurring that completely passes you by on first watch.
Peter Larney as officer Tony provides a performance with just the right amount of introspective drama, allowing the film to turn on a dime and head straight for the comedy in its second half without giving the audience narrative whiplash. Andre Hyland and Lisa Linke similarly do a great job of playing the situation straight, leaning into the ridiculousness of the premise while not breaking character.
As with all great comedies, it does not rely on just the laughs to carry the film, ensuring its accompanying elements are as authentic as possible, including a very well edited chase sequence. Even the narrative structuring building up to a moment of truth for our protagonist fits the mould of any cop drama worth its salt.
So much of what works about this film lies in its self-awareness and willingness to poke fun at not only its own premise but tropes like the burned-out cop and tortured masculinity. Even the grainy imagery evokes the gritty crime dramas of the 70s. All of this and more is used as set-up to a fantastic pay-off guaranteed to put a (much needed) smile on your face.
Soskin and co-writer John Hibey pull off a comedy that is narratively efficient whilst delivering a slow burn punchline. Oddly, the comedy seems to work because the film itself is the straight man. Nothing in its style or crafting points to a departure from reality or application of a slapstick aesthetic. Instead, it perfectly strikes the balance of plausible and unbelievable. Regardless of which character’s perspective you see the film from, it is exactly the kind of story that begins “you’ll never believe what happened to me today…”
Whether your day starts on a downer or you hit a midday lull, Housecall is just the tonic to get you that belly laugh that puts your day on track.
Studio: Josh Soskin | Year: 2018 | Genre: Comedy | Duration: 4 Mins | Suitability: Mature
Peter Larney, Andrey Hyland, Lisa Linke
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