Movie Short Review: ‘What Happened To Evie’

Review by David Ferguson

Greetings again from the darkness. Director Kate Cheeseman and writer Carol Younghusband team up for a short film that tests our perceptions and leaves us questioning our own prejudices and assumptive nature.

Evie (Bessie Coates in her film debut) is the new girl in school, and with her quiet personality, she faces some challenges adjusting to the new environment, and fitting in with her new classmates. Her mother labels her ‘withdrawn’ and contacts her overly-concerned teacher who goes out of his way to compliment her latest essay.

Director Cheeseman bombards us with flashes of images that are shooting through Evie’s mind, and of course, we as viewers begin to assemble these fragments into the narrative that most easily follows our assumptions. A group of obnoxious boys harassing the elderly and females, a compassionate teacher, a dark walkway under a bridge, a girl’s skinned knees and scratched face … all of these fit nicely into the sexual assault we think we “see”.

There is no question mark in the film’s title, as the outcome is known. Memories of traumatic events are not always linear, and Evie lets us see what happened through a jumbled timeline. It’s a terrific debut for young Ms. Coates and a nice lesson delivered in 10 minutes by Ms. Cheeseman.

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