If you’d like to see how far Patrick Rea has come as both a visual storyteller, a creative storyteller and a filmmaker, than you really should look no further than “Time’s Up, Eve” a masterfully well told noir yarn that meshes genres to spin a rather creepy and compelling story. Rea has always been a very sharp and skilled director with a keen eye for the gritty and morbid, but “Time’s Up, Eve” is so far his best film with a sheer sense of atmosphere and dread mixed with a noir tone that is stunning.
Every frame of this film is astounding with shadows painting the walls of this nightmarish cityscape, and buildings looking much more like specters than actual constructs. With an excellent jazz score, and some classic noir plot devices, “Time’s Up, Eve” is a collection of marvelous talent that can best be described as “The Third Man” meets “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Focusing more on characterization than scares, “Time’s Up, Eve” is set in a hellish black and white world where beautiful Eve is on the run from shadowy specters, all of whom have a collection route in their hands and are devoted to seizing their prized possessions from human beings. Merciless, devious, and incredibly ambiguous, Rea depicts villains whom are faceless and formless and yet still completely horrifying. Never taking the time to explain their true purpose, Rea forms a new monster that is here for one reason and one that we can’t possibly fathom.
Eve is a woman haunted by her past and by the world’s transformation and desperately tries to outrun the beings that took what her family and friends held so dear. What’s even more stunning is the question Patrick raises in the finale. Is this entire cinematic installment black and white, or has the monsters collection on this gem we hold so dear turned the world in to an aimless abyss void of color, density, or dimension? Sharon Wright is the classic noir heroine with strong inner-monologues and desperation that seeps in to every bit of her performance, and Rea uses her vulnerability and charm to turn her in to a heroine with a shady past fighting for self-preservation in a world where the bad guys have already won.
While the story is filled with excellent noir tropes, the pay off is classic Patrick Rea, one who is not just prone to telling a straight forward story and gets a kick out of turning the tables on the audience and leaving us shaking out heads in disbelief. Rea has progressed well over the years from a great director in to an incredible director, and I’m pleased to see that he just continues to grow more and more as a filmmaker and storyteller. A combination of neo-noir, crime drama, and the classic monster movies, “Times Up, Eve!” is a marvelous short film with Patrick Rea going all out in terms of visuals, skill, creativity, imagination, and pure unadulterated storytelling. Star Sharon Wright is a compliment to a stellar picture, and I highly suggest this to anyone open to an original short film.