In the modern social and political climate, Patrick Rea’s “Justice Served” is going to play well and perhaps stir up some much needed controversy. While director Rea delivers his usual slick special effects and morbid tone, “Justice Served” is a brilliant commentary on society and how far we’ve come. Society is nothing but people exploiting people, exploiting people, we’re devils and devil’s advocates. Director Rea creates a backward world where the society we witness is shockingly not that different than what we’re seeing today.
If I am cryptic it’s because I really want to save the surprises for the audience, and implore them to go check out “Justice Served” when it arrives in festivals. A young man is in jail and is awaiting trial. Accused of pushing a small girl in front of a moving vehicle, he’s approached by a lawyer who begins to encourage him to play along with the trial and coaxes him in to admitting what he’d done. Admitting wholeheartedly to what he’d done, we garner a full glimpse in to the world he’s living in. It’s a world where everyone indulges their darkest desires, and the snakes are given the most respect. Before long, he’s being judged and analyzed by a mass of the population that are not at all his peers, and seek to prey on him.
Patrick Rea is very good about switching the circumstances, conveying what we think are the delusions of a madman. We’re never sure of what we’re watching, and if what is unfolding is more metaphorical than literal, and that’s what makes “Justice Served” such an unnerving and relevant horror short. It’s very hard to pick out which society we’re entrenched in, and for a long time we may never able to definitively know for sure. Director Rea flips the symbolism constantly, leaving audiences to interpret what we’ve seen and wonder if we’re too far gone to ever really regain any semblance of order and or humanity ever again. Is this who we are? Are we beyond redemption?
Coming to Select Festivals soon.