Malcolm inherits a bank vault that contains classified government documents and an audio recording that urges him to complete a series of requests.
It is movies like Box 616 that make one wonder how some feature films could possibly fall short of amazing — this little movie fills big-budget shoes while only spending $800 and operating with a crew of 3 people over 2 days. Written and directed by Mitch Glass, Box 616 is one of DUST’s latest, and best, sci-fi shorts. Though time-traveling stories are often a dime a dozen, Box 616 is an original premise of someone being unintentionally thrown into this situation that shows off Mitch Glass’ skill and creativity in filmmaking.
Box 616 follows Mr. Crowe (Gary Bristow), a man whose grandfather has recently passed away. He is left with a box containing only a single key inside, as well as access to a vault which seems to house paperwork, various curios, and oddities. After the bank’s Account Manager, Ben Tamer (Nick Rua), leaves Mr. Crowe in the vault alone, he finds a tape recorder that has a diary of his grandfather’s last expedition. According to his grandfather, he has discovered a link between multiple-dimensions and time traveling and sent a group of men on an expedition through the dimensional opening. Unfortunately, he lost contact with them and realized that the experiment requires someone to open the dimension on ‘this side’ in order to let the lost men back into this universe. Leaving detailed instructions for how to access the time travel portal, Mr. Crowe attempts to work the machine, but soon realizes the consequences of opening the door to the other side.
I am floored by what Mitch Glass and Moontouch Entertainment accomplished with Box 616, which crams suspense, a wink of humor, and a heavy sci-fi tone into a 9 minute short. Box 616 was so good that I went in search of more projects from DUST, the online platform distributing the movie; a theme that is quickly noticeable is that they are all science fiction and that the production quality of every short is as out of this world as the content and premises of the movies themselves. Mitch Glass’ Box 616, in particular, has the creativity of H.G. Wells in subject matter and a directorial style reminiscent of J.J. Abrams, only he is not bound by feature-length, though this movie certainly could be made into one, if not into a TV series about jumping between dimensions — a Black Mirror episode, perhaps?
There are a number of aspects that made Box 616 a great watch. The performances were interesting, only having about 3 people (and an alien) to pull the story together. Nick Rua as the banker brought some anticipation to the film by seemingly knowing something we do not, and Gary Bristow as Mr. Crowe was an everyday man who played apprehensive but inquisitive in order to drive the story forward using body language more so than words. Even better than the acting performances were the excellent visuals and the intense music, which were gripping from start to finish. The music, by Dan Negovan, reminded me of many dramatic fantasy movies, and the framing played with perspective a lot adding to the anticipation of exploring something not yet known… but soon to be. The CGI was minimal, but a little bit goes a long way in this short, making every second count in this miniature movie.
Boxes and doors always do seem to show the folly of man’s inquisitive nature, from Pandora’s box to Psyche’s box — add Box 616 to the pile. The only downside to this movie is that it isn’t longer, it ends on an unexpected cliffhanger and I was begging for just one more minute of this exceptionally made short movie. Mitch Glass leaves the audience wanting more, and DUST, as usual, has another stellar science fiction short on their hands. The truth is out there and it lies within science fiction, so to catch this sci-fi short that wastes, not one second telling a riveting time-traveling-multi-verse story CLICK HERE.