Lockdown has come to an end for good in the U.S. (hopefully), and we honor the peculiar times of entrapment and isolation with this special feature. Setting an entire film in one location is a creative challenge to put it lightly. From 12 Angry Men (1957) to Saw (2004) to the latest Bo Burnham film, Inside, made during the lockdown, filmmakers over the years have brilliantly turned such confinement into great strength across all genres. Here are 8 single-location films from the Filmhub catalog.
Directed by Courtney Daniels / Comedy / 2019 / 90 mins / United States
Synopsis: After the disappointing debut of her novel, a woman engages in escapist behavior, creating trouble in her marriage. A relatable exploration of our obsessions: the pursuit of success, happiness, social media, nostalgia, monogamy, and the meaning of life.
What makes it special: Director Courtney Daniels’ debut film “What Other Couples Do” has been one of Filmhub’s all-time top performers across streaming channels worldwide. Her sophomore feature takes a stripped-down and minimalist approach to the story and the setting but delves into themes beyond marriage and relationships.
Our House for the Weekend
Directed by Ryan Balas / Comedy / 2017 / 57 mins / United States
Synopsis: While house sitting for their in-laws, a married couple’s relationship is put to the test when they lose the family cat. This freewheeling faux-doc is a hilarious look at sex, love and marriage, and house sitting.
What makes it special: Another bittersweet and honest portrayal of marriage. In this film put together entirely by Ryan Balas and Dee Herlihy - a filmmaker couple in real life, the line between fiction and reality begins to blur.
Directed by Edward Palmer / Thriller / 2020 / 77 mins / United Kingdom
Synopsis: Ruby has been kidnapped, but her kidnapper doesn’t want a ransom. He wants her to fall in love with him.
What makes it special: A kidnapping plot with shocking twists + an amazing performance by Ingvild Deila + masterful cinematography endorsed by the great Roger Deakins + a mesmerizing score, that’s the formula for an instant classic in the claustrophobic thriller genre. Shot for a mere £5,000, upcoming British filmmaker Edward Palmer also gave a masterclass for microbudget production in his debut.
Where to stream it: Amazon UK
Directed by Rohit Gupta / Comedy / 2016 / 85 mins / United States
Synopsis: A set of characters in a marijuana smoking lounge reflect over daily existence, societal curiosities conversing about various topics with people never met before.
What makes it special: A reincarnation of Clerks (1994) amped-up with smoky haze. Best enjoyed stoned.
Down There in Heaven
Directed by Felix Schäfer / Comedy / 2018 / 82 mins / Germany
Synopsis: Six men meet at a surprise party. A note left behind reveals that they are part of a therapeutic intervention. Reluctantly, they surrender to their destiny and embark on a journey to explore their own selves.
What makes it special: Ideas of masculinity clash in this equally intense and hilarious spin on the “strangers trapped in a room” subgenre.
Directed by Stephen Portland / Thriller / 2018 / 86 mins / United States
Synopsis: A man and woman are struggling to adjust to life with their new baby. But their situation begins to unravel when they suspect a menacing stranger could be lurking, watching… even entering their home.
What makes it special: Not many films have been made about the anxiety and fatigue and paranoia of new parents, and this one stands out. Underneath a light touch of horror is a well-written and well-acted character-driven drama.
Directed by Diego Bliffeld & Nicolás Diodovich / Comedy / 2017 / 91 mins / Argentina
Synopsis: Four friends in their 30s are reunited to watch the World Cup. After a long debate, they decide to make a gamble, where the two losers have to reveal an awful truth. Tension mounts as the truth in each case brings challenges to their friendship.
What makes it special: Another prime example of a tiny set - not only in a single room but rather around a single couch. Passionately executed with naturalistic styles and dynamic performances, the film is relatable and engaging for soccer fans and noobs alike.
Where to stream it: Xumo
Directed by Maxim Bessmertny / Drama / 2016 / 19 mins / Macau, China
Synopsis: A fishing net entangles a fisherman, a foreigner, and an actress into a love triangle off the coast of Sai Kung in Hong Kong.
What makes it special: Russia-born director Maxim Bessmertny grew up in Macau. He makes subtle commentaries on Macau’s uniquely complex society in a short film that features a classic triangular relationship set in the middle of the sea, all beautifully shot on Kodak Super 16mm film.