Illustration for article titled A Young Woman Seeks Guidance from Aliens in Poignant Short iIn the Pines/i

There’s no dialogue in Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell’s In the Pines—just a rambling voice mail message that plays as the unnamed protagonist hikes a forested mountain trail to the top, sets up listening equipment like a lo-fi version of Jodie Foster in Contact, and waits for the UFO she’s sure will arrive.


In the Pines is so short that you don’t get to know much about this troubled young woman—but you can tell by the reaction of the voice-mail recipient, her mother, that her behavior is both deeply worrisome and irritatingly familiar. Whether or not the film is actually about mental illness or aliens is made mostly clear by the end. Mostly.



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