If you have around eight minutes to spare “Risorgimento” is a short horror subject by Trace Walker available on YouTube. It’s very ambiguous and anyone can draw her or his conclusions after watching it.
In “Risorgimento”, a young man (Aiden Dalton) awakens, sitting against the wall of a place. He finds himself trapped in a rather empty abode that looks like a ballroom repurposed as a loft. He seems to be living a vicarious existence and not care much about anything other than smoking his cigarettes and watching the set of (unplugged) screens he has there with him.
The protagonist watches videos in his set of four screens. By and by, when the video reaches a part that’s most interesting to him, the monitors lose the signal.
What he watches in the monitors are several clips. One is of a young woman (Emmy Rice) playing the piano. Another is of him interacting with her. Beyond that, the monitors seem to have an intelligence of their own, and they act of their own volition.
I liked this short how it tells its story. It may seem nonsensical, simplistic, or shallow to some, but I liked the underlying subtext.
I would like to tell my interpretation, but it’s too early on this review for that. I will write my interpretation at the end, in the spoilers’ appendix. If you still didn’t watch it, and you want to be surprised by it, and to interpret it yourself, don’t read beyond the spoilers warning.
I liked “Risorgimento” that it is very primal and minimalistic. It might tell a dark story, but you have to think hard to realize what’s going on. At least if you haven’t seen other stories using the main trope of this one. This is a kind of psychological horror with zero graphic horror elements.
Still, that it has zero graphic horror elements doesn’t diminish its creep factor. I’m talking about the set. The set and the situation should give you a hint about what’s going on.
In the last several minutes comes the reveal, but it still is so much surreal and subtle that it may pass you by and you might see the titles roll and think “what did I just watch?”, and I wouldn’t blame you for that.
If you like psychological horror, this short is for you. If you love slipstream, surreal, and Lynchian content, you should watch it too.
I wouldn’t recommend it for those that have to be spoonfed a story’s meaning, because this one is not one of those.
My Interpretation of this Short
Okay, this is what I understood of this short. The lead character is dead. It’s very obvious when the short shows that he had a seizure after overdosing with pills.
If you’re new to dead-all-along trope, then this short has a great potential of shocking you. For others that already watched stories like this the effect may not be that strong, but anyway, it was a nice surprise to find that this short can be interpreted like I did interpret it.
The lead is dead and since he died in an illicit way he is beginning to suffer the reactions to his wrong actions. This suffering manifests in his entrapment in his psycho-spiritual post-mortem existence.
He at first doesn’t realize that he died, but by the end of the short he must face the truth. The monitors show him what he did to end up where he is, he snoozed a call from his mother when he was having the seizure that killed him.
I think that the scenes that this short has, that we could call, the more normal ones, are reflections of his soul, dreams, and reenactment of memories, that he entertains himself with.
But at the same time, there’s the egoic variable. The lead of this short is very egoic, his discarnate soul, unaware of his new state has still biological needs (to smoke cigarettes).
He is still emotionally attached to his body, and the short ends in a way that lets the viewers decide what will happen to him.
I think that because of what he said, that he could grow to like that place, that he wasn’t by any means prepared to know the truth, that he had just killed himself with pills and seclusion.
It’s fun to think what a sequel to this short could be like, or what an expansion of the material to feature-length script could create.