Ellie is a rather dreary looking teenager of an unknown age. She lifts weights before heading off to catch the bus. Her angst bleeds through her sweaty tank top. As the tag line reads, some questions will be answered but many more will be asked. This 30 minute short film will inevitably explode into a cataclysmic tale with nowhere to turn but to stare yourself down in the mirror and question your very existence. I'd heard of many needing showers after watching films but Ellie left me feeling a level of filthy. One of which that no amount of soap would ever wash away.
In one scene, Ellie attempts to purchase whiskey at a general store. After being denied for lack of proper identification, a fellow convenience store worker asks "How bad do you want it?". For anyone that has experienced some trauma that "the real world" offers, we know what road this is heading down. Ellie is a self-conscious teenager and screams when her shirt is attempted to be removed. Each transpiring scene is more heart-wrenching than the last. The teenage rebellion starts off with baby steps, the beginning of nihilism if you will. First comes smoking, then drinking, then premarital sex. Then the events of Ellie get progressively worse. I'll leave it to your imagination to piece together the rest, that is caked in moral ambiguity.
Minimalism aside, Ellie is a masterwork in low budget film making. Taking cues from films like Thirteen and In My Skin, Ellie transforms destructive human potential into the true definition of an American tragedy - all this with a young bag of meat. Marking each viewer's soul with relentless imagery of a tortured child, Ellie is an exercise of an independently thought grand scheme reassessing depression into something unglamorized by popular media. My thanks to the vocally articulated ideas of director Matthew Garrett. Unannounced and practically unheard of, Ellie is one of the most toxic experiments I've ever witnessed.