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The Independent Critic

Joris Jarsky, Talya Carroll, Jaidyn Carroll
Mark O'Brien
8 Mins.

 "Threshold" Continues on Indie Fest Circuit 

In writer/director Mark O'Brien's nearly 8-minute short film Threshold, Joris Jarsky portrays Frank, a disgraced ex-cop whose past comes back to haunt him when he decides to protect a mysterious woman, Christine (Talya Carroll). 

One of two shorts I received from the up-and-coming TXL Films this month, Threshold is currently on the film festival circuit where it seems assured of obtaining quite a bit of success. O'Brien, an award-winning actor and filmmaker and due to be seen soon opposite Mandy Moore in The Darkest Minds and Jason Reitman's The Front Runner, has crafted a compelling film that is instantly recognizable yet never predictable in telling its taut, suspenseful 8-minute story in a way that builds and builds yet never feels rushed or unnecessarily stretched out. 

It helps, of course, to have a quality ensemble cast and that's exactly what O'Brien has here including an absolutely terrific Joris Jarsky, whose performance is one of those performances that makes you finish watching the film and instantly look out his other credits on IMDB. With credits ranging from 2008's The Incredible Hulk to Saw V to a wide variety of television appearances, Jarsky is a dramatic force to be reckoned with here and commands your attention from beginning to end. 

The same is true for his supporting players, including an impeccable Talya Carroll and Christine and, I'd dare say, an even more impeccable Jaidyn Carroll as Anna. 

Edy Lan's original music is absolutely top notch, while Kevin Garrison's cinematography practically bathes the audience in the film's utilization of darkness and shadows, past and present. 

Threshold tells a story that feels familiar the minute you start watching it, but O'Brien's aiming for something bigger here and he reaches that aim time and time again with little curves, detours and just plain twists along the way. Yet, the film's story feels authentic with the little twists and detours never ringing a false note or feeling manipulative. 

This is just plain effective storytelling and filmmaking across the board. 

For more information on Threshold, visit the film's website linked to in the credits. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic