Meeting the girl you secretly love can sometimes be a terrifying experience. But director Alex Mathieson takes this experience to another level to deliver a short film that is as unpredictable as it is exciting. Still, ‘Death Date‘ is not the kind of romantic teen movie you’d expect. Rather, it’s an elaborate cinematic exercise that transcends conventional generic boundaries to give viewers of all ages a dose of adrenaline and a few shivers down their spines. Defying the “rules of the game” precisely to challenge the clichés so popular in young adult cinema, the director seems less concerned with the inner conflict between characters than with the limitless possibilities cinematic language possesses. Thus, while the classic pretext of the boy who has to find the courage to talk to the girl he likes apparently draws the lines of a realistic narrative thread, things take a drastic turn with the intervention of a supernatural force. Suddenly, everything takes the form of a modern fantasy, more precisely an initiatory adventure, at the end of which the protagonist meets his own fate. And what better name could the girl he falls in love with have than… Destiny?


With an astonishing versatility that explores the spectacular potential of cinema, Alex Mathieson offers viewers a race against time, reconfiguring the substance of his fictional universe at every turn. Despite the totally unpredictable narrative progression, seemingly out of control, it is a real pleasure to be carried along by the spontaneity of the director’s vision throughout the adventure that materializes a metaphorical path of the protagonist’s self-discovery. Respecting the parameters of universal character typologies, the short film synthesizes through a broad spectrum of emotions the modern “fairy tale” of growing up any viewer can identify with. ‘Death Date’ falls into the category of those “ageless” short films, illustrating with infectious fascination a scenario that each of us has experienced and most likely recalls with a smile on our faces.


For the artistic versatility with which the director illustrates the universal teenager’s coming-of-age journey towards the discovery of love, ‘Death Date’ was awarded with the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the March 2024 edition of TMFF.