Story: A young woman (Lois Weber) is home with her child, when danger threatens her household like never before. Her husband (Val Paul) is not around and in an isolated locale, such a threat looms even larger than normal. A hobo (Sam Kaufman) has stumbled onto the estate and wants to break in, for what exact reason, the woman can’t be sure. Can she fend off this invader, protecting herself and her child in the process, or will the hobo find his way inside?
Entertainment Value: This silent short runs under eleven minutes, but Suspense is able to live up to its name and deliver plenty of just that. Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley craft a lean, effective thriller that hits all the needed beats narrative wise, but they’re also able to come through from a creative slant, especially in terms of visuals. I loved the split screen approach taken at times, sometimes even giving us three views to the narrative as it unfolds. There are other interesting visual techniques employed as well, but the split screen stands out the most. In the end, with such a short runtime, Suspense works some minor miracles and remains a fantastic, tense short.
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