Drink is a sci-fi cautionary tale, evocative of the original Twilight Zone series. Many established writers and directors have attempted to recreate the look, feel, and power of the successful Rod Serling series and have failed miserably. New director Emily Moss Wilson is the first one to actually succeed.
The 23-minute short produced through Paper Crane Productions made its world premiere at the 2014 Dances with Films Festival on May 31, 2014. The film follows "Alice", a mother of two boys ("Clint" and "Billy"), who takes them and flees their home in the middle of the night. The trio arrive at an old desert motel, and Alice begins to feel a strange connection to the place. A past tragedy that occurred in that very hotel room unearths desires in Alice that could send her down the path of freedom or insanity. Drink offers an examination of themes of desire, family, motherhood, and the power of truth.
Writer-Director Emily Moss Wilson and co-writer Larry Soileau actually passed on an opportunity to do Drink as a feature film, opting instead to use it as a preview piece in pitching the concept as a TV pilot.
“What we want to pitch is the concept again of the half-hour drama, which doesn't really exist anymore, and that it can be done on a budget,” Emily said. “We wanted to show that we can essentially make a half hour of television, but we sort of have our own way of making it part anthology, like the Twilight Zone was, but then like the X-Files, there's a through line of a mythology that kind of keeps reemerging, that kind of keeps it a cohesive piece.”
Drink brilliantly weaves psychological thriller, sci-fi mystery, and head fakes. What appears to be a woman and children fleeing potentially abusive circumstances is quickly revealed as something altogether different. As each character’s thoughts and desires are revealed, you quickly find that the scenarios that you thought would play out are not necessarily going to occur. The themes and deeper lessons unfold as each character makes a choice, and the end results are not always pretty. Wilson and Soileau expertly string together a strong and multi-faceted plot, while the consummate acting, and believable (and often creepy) visual and special effects weight the story with mystery and other-worldliness reminiscent of both the sci-fi series to which this short pays homage.
Drink makes another film festival stop in the Midwest this Summer, and there will no doubt be others. “My plan is to make it available for as many people to see it as possible,” Emily said. “Maybe try to get it on Vimeo on Demand or iTunes.”
If audiences are lucky, the Paper Crane Productions team will get a television deal.