Nicholas Treeshin’s short film, Leave Us Alone, is set on a piece of farmland and involves aliens. At fourteen minutes long, it’s hard to dive into the details without spoiling the entire film. But, I’ll give it a try anyway.
The film begins in a dusty small-town bar in rural Middle of Nowhere. A cop (Philip Granger) walks in and questions Sam (Leah Gibson), a young single mother, about a mysterious disappearance of three men on her property. Granger plays a wonderful concerned cop, and almost came off sounding like an older brother or a family friend. Most likely one of few law enforcers in the area and has been acquainted with Gibson’s character for a long time. The small-town friendliness mixed with curiosity, where everybody knows everybody’s business, is successfully translated through Granger’s character. To balance the two roles, Gibson’s character could be seen as an independent, tough personality, traits required of a single mother, by giving misleading answers to protect herself and her child. The actor’s on-screen chemistry was a treat to watch. The set design was also well done, with the chat’s setting (a dirty pub) being a stereotypical depiction of a small town bar: nearly empty, a dusty jukebox in the corner, and hunched-over patrons drinking stale beer. Before seeing outside of the tavern the rural scenery is already apparent. That’s a good sign.
The existence of spacemen on the farm becomes evident through a series of flashbacks of Sam talking to her grandfather on his deathbed. Her grandfather has owned the farm for many years and explains how aliens had landed on his property when she was a child. He explains that he struck an extraterrestrial pact to protect the aliens’ privacy in exchange for a bountiful crop and follows by giving her a padlocked chest. He continues by warning her not to leave the farm in order to abide by the pact and maintain her safety. A problem I had with was for most of the film, many questions are raised, yet aren’t answered. A lot of the information is given in the form of puzzle pieces, to be put together later by the viewer. For example, the aliens are shown to be malicious (“disappearance” of the three men on the farm), but without reasoning. Their purpose on Earth isn’t mentioned. Why this farm? Why are they so secretive? How has nobody else seen the giant spaceship flying around above Sam’s farm? Questions like these are left for viewers to answer.
Overall, I would like to see this movie extended into a full-length feature film. The moment I was beginning to feel attached to the story same moment it ended. The amount of questions and lack of closure at the end left me yearning for more footage. In my opinion, the short film served more of a teaser trailer role than that of a complete film. With that being said, the film is worth a watch, if only to peak your interest in the filmmakers involved. Everything about this film (acting, cinematography, soundtrack, visual effects…etc.) shares qualities with those of full-length feature films. I’m hoping they extend the film into a sequel. If so, I’ll be there for my closure.