Secret Shopper is a short film so small I want to call it a micro-movie. Which is probably the same thing but I liked the sound of it. The premise is simple: a woman with a young girl and an older boy head to their car after shopping for groceries and in between loading up the car and leaving the mother runs into a friend who she stops to chat with. Unfortunately this allows the perfect opportunity for the Secret Shopper to strike.
When the mother returns to her car, her son is missing, and so is the adorable (not) son character of those stick figures mom’s like to put on their van windows of their families. And as she’s frantically looking, off drives a dark colored car with several son and daughter stickers and you hear the sound of a boy pounding against the trunk.
Most of the film is without audio, and instead is themed with traditional chipper 50’s music, setting the tone of something out of Pleasantville. It’s only when the mother lets out a dramatic scream that the music breaks. And it was timed perfectly.
I really appreciated the actors’ facial portrayals, conveying everything they couldn’t actually say vocally. The lighting was another aspect that I commemorate the director on. I’ve heard that sometimes can be the hardest part, even with an outdoor location. The film in general was highly entertaining. It was quirky, dark, and a great way to turn the subject matter on its head. I would love to see more from director Jamie Jenkins.
Savage Score buckles in at a 4.5 out of 5. I highly recommend this to everyone I know. Despite how short it was, it was the perfect length for the story. Gore score is a 0 out of 10 but don’t be disappointed. This isn’t that kind of movie. Be sure and look for a chance to see the Secret Shopper when you can, that is, if you aren’t worried about your children being kidnapped.