The Trouble With Uncle Max (2016)

There’s a plan and a route Sonya (Arianna Danae) and Joe (Nathaniel Sylva) want to take. However, their plan to kill Sonya’s Uncle Max (Bill Taylor) isn’t as easy as she thought.

I feel this film is one that isn’t meant to be an easy watch, relating round the obvious crime of the plot, the film is quite dark, especially the lighting as the film proceeds. It also turns tense quite quickly. Additionally, I feel the audience isn’t supposed to like many of the characters by the end, as we are exposed to many more things. I wouldn’t say these things are a bad thing, quite the opposite; giving a unique edge to the film and one that should be appreciated as an opposite to all those Blockbuster, Hollywood films we’re so used to now-a-days. So if you’re looking for a different sort of film, but one that is still as intriguing as all the others, I would recommend this one.

This film only lasts just over twenty minutes (as it is a short film), but cleverly tells so much. Within small parts of the film, it is leading towards the end, an end which leaves Joe in a situation he didn’t want to be in. But I have to mention the last couple of seconds, before the credits, just showing how much attention needs to be paid to this film. It really is clever. From the beginning of the film the audience are brought in, unsure to what is happening. We are told so many things from little aspects but they don’t seem to add up completely until things are verified more clearly. There are small indications, for example a name tag telling us who the main protagonist is, so when she is called we understand her situation more; a picture in Joe’s car, telling the audience he must love his girlfriend very much. Little things like this all add to the bigger picture of the plot and it is very clever. These continuous close ups are very good in drawing the audience’s attention to certain things.

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Furthermore, the actors are very good, especially Bill Taylor playing Uncle Max, as he quickly shows how obsessed he is with his “Screwdriver” alcoholic drink and that he must be quite abusive towards Sonya. Arianna Danae also plays Sonya well; you understand the pain she’s going through pretty quickly. But then it suddenly escalates and maybe there’s more to her. The director, Rufus Chaffee has been very clever in how things are already escalated to murder, as it gives the audience a sense of past and future, a sense that there has been so much before this film that we don’t know about, but must be pretty awful if it’s already risen to these thoughts already.

So if you’re looking for a tense 20 minute short film, I would recommend this one. It is unique in style and one that draws the audience in. Besides don’t you want to know why Sonya found it so difficult, or what in fact happens in those last few minutes?



If you think this is a film you would enjoy, ‘The Trouble With Uncle Max’ is available to be streamed or downloaded at


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