Vows (2013)

Part of the “Withered World” web short series, director Jon Davis offers his own harrowing tale of humanity and horror with “Vows.” A short that pictures two people trying to gain a year’s worth of marriage in only a day, director Davis sets down on a young couple anxious to seal their vows. Only because someday soon it won’t mean much.

As they run out of time, they decide they want to marry. And through this ceremony, they’re allowed the luxury of a reception and a small time for cuddling that temporarily covers their inherent sadness and horror. In spite of their wide smiles, and lovely vows, there’s a terror in their eyes that’s tough to ignore. The performances by Jessie Burkett and Tim Robinson are stirring, and they master their deep anger about not being able to really enjoy this wonderful occasion. Obviously they had no choice but to marry, and now with the walls dropping around them, they can’t even appreciate it.

With a montage of their celebration, the final scene ends on a suggested note that really does pack a punch. Director Davis doesn’t provide visuals, but the implications are more than enough to leave audiences pondering on the inevitabilities of violence and death that will meet these people soon enough. We’re not sure how or why the world is ending, but their happiness will be painfully fleeting. It should be a prologue to a larger feature, but on its own director Jon Davis’s “Vows” is just gut wrenching. I loved it.