Whiteout from writer/director Lance Edmands is a tense, well-crafted single-take short. The gimmick here, as a cinematic device, is that everything takes place from the perspective of the backseat of a car.  Taking place on a dark rural road in the midst of a snowstorm, the confined backseat perspective is claustrophobic in the best of ways. You desperately want the camera to pan or reveal more information, but it refuses to. And, so, you’re left stuck with the protagonists as they handle a tense, unconventional, and uncomfortable situation in real time. Purely on a visceral level, the result is undeniably engaging. Edits literally and figuratively cut tension, so by eschewing them altogether, the suspense becomes palpable. Moreover, I like that it’s essentially a horror/suspense film that doesn’t fall victim to the cliché tenets of the genre. It would have been so easy to make the antagonist a generic masked monster, but instead it’s just a guy…an unstable guy. And, as a result, it’s so much creepier. Likewise, we get a solid amount of character development, something which is often absent in films wholly devoted to a singular visual concept such as this.

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