This Way Out
Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Review by Craig Draheim
Writer/Director: Staten Cousins Roe
Starring: Poppy Roe, Katie Brayben
The short film, This Way Out uses some mockumentary elements to follow a euthanasia clinic that has 10 days to get 10 clients or they’ll be shutdown. The two that run the clinic are having a difficult time getting people that wish to kill themselves, until an unfortunate incident sparks a moment of inspiration.
This Way Out was a festival success and would lay the foundation for Staten Cousins Roe’s feature A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life, which brought back Poppy Roe and Katie Brayben in similar roles, with many of the same locations and other cast members trickling over.
Since this is a short film there is truly little to discuss in terms of plot, as it feels more like a promotional video used to highlight a business. However, it works to its benefit and brings out the ripe black comedy, that’s established Cousins Roe’s style and placed him as one of the filmmakers to watch. But we can’t forget the acting which is sold by Roe and Brayben with complete conviction. The 17 minutes used are just as much a showcase of their talent as it is for Staten’s directorial ability.
As I mentioned in my review on A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life, the tone might make limit the number of eyes that are viewing this short. But I am speaking from an American’s perspective, where black comedy and “British” comedy is considered a niche audience. I will argue that the short is more accessible than its feature counterpart since the subject matter tackled (while still dark) does not have two characters going on a cross-country murder spree.
I may be a biased critic, as I’ve been very vocal about my love for their feature and that brand of humor, but ultimately what it comes down to is This Way Out is an incredible short that is passionately made from someone who has a distinct artistic voice. And I’ll stand by that any day of the week. I guess you could say I drank the lemonade.
5 out of 5
The short is available to watch for free on Vimeo:
And check out Craig's interview with filmmaker Staten Cousins Roe below