Continuing with our coverage of HorrOrigins 2022 Film Festival, we at Horror Facts got the opportunity to watch When They Come, a short film about the horrors of unrequited love.
When They Come opens on Vanessa as she receives a phone call from a friend informing her that Dmitri, a guy she had gone out with on a couple of dates, recently took his own life.
Initially taken aback by the news, Vanessa soon begins to question if she had anything to do with his decision to take his own life.
To her friend, she reveals that Dmitri had the sensation that she had been stringing him along, which might have some truth to it, as she had only been seeing him in an attempt to get over her ex.
She soon starts to reveal that there were certain aspects of his character that she found to be peculiar, including his belief in curses, a belief that arose from his strong ties to his Romani heritage. It was because of this heritage that Dmitri refused to sleep with Vanessa, instead attempting to ask her hand in marriage after every date.
Along with the proposals, Vanessa discloses that Dmitri had made several remarks about wanting to commit suicide, giving off the impression that he almost reveled in the idea of taking his own life.
Continuing to unburden herself, Vanessa reveals that, on their last date, she attempted to sleep with Dmitri, only to have him decline her advances and once again propose. Fed up with his antics, she informed Dmitri that she had finally had enough of him.
Scorned by this rejection, Dmitri informed Vanessa that he would use his impure death to bring a curse upon her. In retaliation, Vanessa told Dmitri that he should make good on his threats and take his own life.
Now, faced with the realization that she is partially to blame for his suicide, she begins to see that death is not the end of Dmitri and that curses are real.
What’s unique about When They Come is that there is no clear hero or villain in the story. Throughout the film, we learn that both Vanessa and Dmitri are, at their core, flawed characters.
Vanessa is only using Dmitri to get what she wants. She cares little for his feelings and is only concerned with what is good for her. This is evident in the fact that she attempts to justify her actions when faced with the realization that she had a significant part in his death – after all, she doesn’t want to see herself as the bad guy.
As flawed as Vanessa is, Dmitri is just as bad, if not worse. He uses manipulation as a means to get what he wants, threatening to kill himself if Vanessa doesn’t love him. This couple is the true definition of what it means to be in a “toxic relationship.”
When They Come is filmed in a single, continuous shot and looks at the inevitability of consequences and what happens when they come.
When They Come is written and directed by Hunter Collins and stars Alyx Melone as Vanessa and Robert Pue as Dmitri.
Watch When They Come on Block I of HorrOrigins 2022 Film Festival and see what happens when bad meets evil.