Pre-title sequences have longed been used in horror to set a premise before moving on into the main narrative of the film. The Misplaced feels like a pre-title sequence to a film that will never be made.
Playing on the fears of the items you temporally lose in your home are being taken and the returned; The Misplaced does a good job from the start of building the tension. Writer director Alex DiVincenzo, along with co-writer TJ Frizzi, certainly knows the genre well. The timing of the set up is executed with precision and the end reveal has the menace you would expect; drawing the eye to the villain instead of relying on a jump scare.
Jamie Lyn Bagley gives a realistic performance and her reaction to the reveal is believable, and even a little comedic in how understated it is. TJ Frizzi as David is a less assured portrayal and little wooden in his delivery. A mention should go to Michael Jacobs who timed every piece of his reveal as the villainous The Misplaced to perfection.
At three minutes fifty this short definitely leaves you wanting more. It’s a concept that could be expanded upon and the character of The Misplaced has legs. It would be great to see a half hour or even ninety minute version.
If you enjoy a slow build horror in the vein of Halloween, The Babadook or more recently Hereditary then check out The Misplaced.
Now where did I put my phone?