Paranoia that comes to those living alone during the winter in secluded areas can be among the worst thing for any person that lives with such delusions. Obviously Winston either needed to get out more or just needed to find another spot where he wouldn’t be inundated with the constant presence of his less than satisfactory neighbor. In fact you get the idea that it was Winston that had issues, not the neighbor. Winston seems like the type that gets annoyed easily, the hermit that wants his space and will only reach out when he finally has no other choice. When his conscience won’t let him alone because of what he’s done.
The short films starts out with a feeling terrible urgency as Winston apologizes to Marcus, whom we never meet, before launching into his tirade about the weird happenings that are going on at the house just up the way from his own. We see a snowy landscape that appears rather desolate and harbors only the two homes that we’re allowed to see. Footsteps lead up to a simple little cottage and as we quickly learn this cottage’s lights flicker on and off now and again as Winston watches, mesmerized since he eventually relays that the neighbor left their house some time ago.
He then goes on to describe his neighbor in terms that are less than glowing and paint a very sordid picture of how he feels about the man and what he believes the other is up to in his attempts to be nice. The paranoia runs deep as the saying goes and it doesn’t take long for Winston to truly come to hate his neighbor and that is when the imagery begins. We see splashes of blood, an ax used for chopping wood, and even a snowy owl with the front of its beak and face stained crimson, as though it’s been feasting upon something recently.
Those images go away as Winston delves deeper into his psychosis, claiming to Marcus that he had to go up to the house to see who was inside, who was keeping the fire stoked so that a serpent of smoke could twist and wind its way up the chimney and into the open air where it could taunt him. He saw nothing however, and thus returned to his own abode where he laid traps, lying in wait for the unknown to come after him. His paranoia grows so bad that he turns all the pictures on his wall around, claiming that the neighbor is looking at him, watching him, through the photos. This isn’t enough though as he is certain that the neighbor is now listening to him and anticipating every word he writes.
It is only when he sees a dark apparition at the window, looking as though it wants in, that Winston goes running into the outdoors, perhaps seeking to escape or perhaps to confront whatever has come for him. What he doesn’t note, until it snaps shut over his leg, is the bear trap that brings him to the ground, bleeding and in pain as snows begin to settle in.
The next day, all that is left of Winston is a red trail leading to an irregular pile of fresh snow.
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