The strength of a short film like ‘Trespasser‘ surely lies in its ability to create not so much a compact universe at once familiar and uncanny, but a tactile, organic sensory experience. From this perspective, Christopher Reith is more an atmospheric creator than a storyteller, and this very special quality of his style gives the specificity of an immersive, enveloping, elusive and thrilling project. It’s almost impossible not to feel its grim magnetism, which draws the viewer into the depths of an ancestral forest, capturing the stygian, relentless force of nature in all its both monumental and macabre splendour. Indeed, the director has a particular taste for the rather gothic style, designing a short film that juggles between the noir aesthetic of Nordic thrillers and the imagery drawn from the world of folk horror films. This means that, despite the seemingly simple narrative thread, the tension is omnipresent, always leaving room for a rational explanation in the face of the strange events the protagonist faces.


The story succinctly illustrates the experience of a man who, wanting to uncover the mystery behind some mysterious murders in the woods, risks discovering a dark force that is impossible to fight. We witness a gradual and agonizing descent into the darkness of a forest, which can also be a final confrontation with the dark corners of the human mind. The main character thus becomes the hunter and the prey of a supernatural manifestation, in which the abysmal fears of humanity are reflected. From this point of view, the short film is not only a slow burn thriller/horror, but also a metaphor about bestiality, about the animality of (human) nature. Faced with such a challenge, Christopher Reith demonstrates mature artistic intuition and enviable technical precision, abandoning the conventional dialogic structure between several characters to create a universal character depicting human nothingness in the face of unleashed cosmic forces. But the silence of the humans is filled by the whispers of the forest, the twilight wind of a liminal space, the sounds of invisible footsteps that encircle the viewer to deliver a nightmarish, intense, and memorable experience.


For its magnetic, visceral and abyssal power, ‘Trespasser’ was awarded with the 2nd Film of the Month award in the July 2023 edition of TMFF.