***** Now the winner of best film at the ConCarolinas Short Film Festival. *****
Cache Me if You Can is an interesting film to try and review. Cache Me if You Can was conceived as a horror film and is executed as such, but the horror is by design not present in the early parts of the film or even truly built to until the very end.
Cache Me if You Can is described by writer and director Bill Mulligan as an attempt to create a horror short where you care about the two leads (and one presumes at the outset possible victims) by the end of it rather than simply waiting impatiently for annoying characters to be dispatched by the film’s monster/killer/big bad evil. On that level it succeeds quite well. This success is in part based on the writing and in part on the chemistry between the two leads, Emlee Vassilos and Robert Craft.
Vassilos and Craft play a young married couple on their way to a party when Vassilos notices that they’re very close to a multiple clue geocache. Geocaching, for those who don’t know, is a treasure hunting game where you use a GPS to play hide and seek with hidden containers placed in usually out of the way locations by other participants in the activity. The game involves finding the hidden items through a combination of a geocaching app and clues/riddles.
Our couple embarks upon their geocaching quest in what becomes a long day’s trek through the woods and swamps of backwoods North Carolina. Robert Craft’s character is not enthusiastically into his wife’s hobby so he of course finds himself climbing a high tree with questionable footing on their very first geocache. The first clue is a riddle that leads them to the next and each successive find gives them a clue to yet another. His enthusiasm for the hobby increases with the increasing value of each find — money, jewelry, rare goods — as the couple push on towards the final treasure.
Vassilos and Craft do a wonderful job with their roles. Both are extremely capable actors and they share on onscreen chemistry that makes them a very believable couple. The dialogue is light and fun and the exchanges between the two lead characters are enjoyable. The clues created for the story are quick and clever. The story succeeds very well through all of this in the first of its goals by making the characters very real feeling and people who you feel some level of involvement with.
But Cache Me if You Can is a horror film and it has to deliver on that level as well to succeed. The final act of the film is impossible to discuss without giving away the ending, but when the time comes for the film’s horror element to come into play the film does deliver.
At an overall length of approximately 20 minutes, the initial absence of horror in a horror short film doesn’t have the chance to wear out its welcome and the horror still carries an enjoyable punch when it arrives. You enjoy the characters throughout and even begin to enjoy the game whether or not you come into the film with any knowledge of geocaching. Cache Me if You Can is an Adrenalin Productions film and is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit. The DVD should be available soon through the Adrenalin Productions store.
Cache Me if You Can can be found on IMDB here – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2676434/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast
And on Facebook here – https://www.facebook.com/cachemeifyoucan?fref=ts
News on Cache Me if You Can screenings and other Adrenalin Productions news can be found here – http://www.adrenalinfilms.com/
Information on Geocaching can be found here – http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/hiking/geocaching.htm