The first , and probably the most striking, thing about RESET, a short film about an underground medical technique used to revive comatose patients and circumvent restrictive health care regulations, is how close this far away future of 2021 actually is. There was a time, not too long ago, when the year 2021 held promises of flying cars, delicious re-hydrated foods, time machines made out of DeLoreans, and video phones. Now the year 2021 is a mere eight years away, and while we do have video phones, the rest of this bright chrome future does not seem to be immediately forthcoming. Goss smartly recognizes this fact and places the action in a more approachable future. In fact, there is nothing distinctly futuristic about RESET at all, and that’s what makes it so discomfiting. It gives us the feeling that it’s a story that could very easily happen to us or to someone we love in the not too distant future.
Aside from that, the story-telling itself is not altogether straight-forward. There are a lot of implications and comments made that the audience has to interpret for themselves. After a car accident, a couple’s teenage son (Cole Rassin) is left in a coma and their younger son (Creed Rassin) with hearing problems (whether he already had hearing problems or whether this was caused by the crash is not explained). The parents turn to a physician who performs an experimental underground procedure called a “reset” in hopes of awaking their son. The husband (Daniel McCann) makes note of the fact that a social worker is coming to visit, and having their teenage son up and about could help matters. Nothing is ever mentioned about the social worker again, no explanation given for why the family is being scrutinized by this social worker, or what the consequences would be if things don’t go well. The script is full of intrigue in a way that can be frustrating to mainstream film goers who are used to having answers spoon-fed to them – but it’s the little nagging questions that keep the audience engaged and thinking long after the short film is done.
And one of the most intriguing questions revolves around the ending and the relationship between the two boys. When the older brother, Adam, comes out of his zombie-like haze after awaking from his coma, his cloudy eyes slowly clear to normal, suggesting his “reset” is finalized. At the end, the younger brother’s (Cal) eyes do the opposite – go from normal to clouded over. Two questions immediately present themselves. One: Did Cal somehow reset himself in order to forget the traumatizing events of the last few months that culminated in a night of terror? Or, two: Is Cal the expression of Adam’s subconscious and if so, how long has Adam really been asleep? The filmmaking supports both theories, although the second one might be a bit more of a stretch. Or it might be neither. And while this uncertainty and speculation might be aggravating to some viewers, a film that forgoes the straight-forward and obvious in favor of experimentation and ingenuity is by virtue a worthwhile film.
In 2021, excessive health care regulations are responsible for 36% of all comatose related deaths between the ages of 13 - 35. Knowledgeable practitioners are turning to underground procedures to revive patients in an effort to bring this number down. Operation R35E-T, which sets to reboot the schematics of memory and thought, has been enacted three times across Europe, all with successful results. This is the fourth -- America's first...