Soho Horror: Kickstart My Heart (2022)

Director: Kelsey Bollig

Running Time: 14 Minutes

Starring: Emma Pasarow, Cooper Alexander, Sadie Eve Scott

As she listens to music and readies herself for a run, Lilly (Emma Pasarow) is caught in a gruesome car accident. She seemingly awakens at home, left only with questions about the situation only to discover all is not as it seems, and she must fight her mind's hellish onslaught to survive.

Writer/director Kelsey Bollig builds towards the action tremendously well, as the realization that something's wrong leads into the music building tension, the changing aspect ratio boxing Lilly in, before she must fight her inner demons. When these scraps unfold, they're terrific to watch as the panning shots and up-close camera angles convey the thrills of these crunching fights. Interspersed within are sights of Lilly post-accident and X-rays highlighting the injuries sustained, offering stark reminders of the reality unfolding.

In the lead role, Emma Pasarow wonderfully captures the character's struggle to persevere through her grief. While she literally fights to stay alive, the story isn't just about the action as Bollig has brought to screen a personal story whose real-life connections are revealed during the credits. What's left is an impactful tale about how pain may linger along with an uncertainty whether it's all worth it, yet something good may still come in the aftermath of such life-changing experiences. It may feel like a battle to get through, but it can be reached.

Kickstart My Heart previously played at Soho Horror Film Festival