Created by Gary Wales and David Penman, RAGE bluntly shows what happens when drinking and drugs mix with a seemingly normal family.

It is no secret that while movies and television shows are made with the clear intention to entertain, another important desire which resonates from within all filmmakers is to evoke some kind of emotion from the audience by the time the end credits appear on the screen.

While achieving such a goal may be hard these days, considering the copious amounts of fantasy spilling out on both the big and small screens, one of the best ways to jumpstart a person’s compassion for a subject is by creating a story that not only revolves around a real-life issue but one that affects many.

As seen in Prime Video’s Somebody I Used To Know, or Netflix’s Your Place or Mine, the genre of romance comfortably thrives from the constant tugging of heartstrings and the ever-present possibility of long-lasting love.

On the other hand, reality clearly shows that as fast as relationships can, in fact, blossom and grow, they can also turn into very toxic and troublesome environments over time. For instance, a person’s uncontrollable vices can end up plaguing an otherwise devoted connection.

At first, this looming threat can disguise itself in the form of just small, forgivable disagreements. However, over time, these unfounded dark emotions can mold the person into exhibiting an unfounded resentment against their loved ones. If not treated properly, this wicked path can lead the person to a violent path.

With over ten million women and men becoming victims of domestic violence every year on average in the US alone, independent Scotland-based filmmakers Gary Wales and David Penman hope to raise awareness on the matter with a short film they both directed and wrote in April 2022 called RAGE.

This brief but meaningful featurette has already won over twenty-eight awards in the last year, including Best Screenplay in the Reale Film Festival, Best Cinematography in the Andromeda Film Festival, and Best Short Film in the Krimson Horyzon International Film Festival.

Eerily dropping the viewer into what seems to be a very pleasant and sunny morning for the Evans family, husband Alex joyously embraces his wife Courtney from behind while she is cooking breakfast and congratulates her on their anniversary. He then casually walks over to his son Colton at the kitchen table.

Mr. Evans looks like he’s about to read a book when he instead becomes distracted and hyper-focused on young Colton, who is suddenly nervously picking at his breakfast.

Annoyed by his son’s unexplained anxiety, he coldly gets up from the table and tells Courtney he will eat the breakfast that she made for him on his way to work as he will be late. However, while walking away from the scene, he does remember to ask his wife what they are doing tonight.

As the day turns into evening and the couple goes on their date, viewers find out that Alex is far from just being ignorant about his son’s emotional needs. Having a hard time just casually talking with his wife, drinking much more than he should, and requiring various drugs to get through the night, the disturbed man turns into a very terrifying and destructive being.

A unique aspect of RAGE is that it is not afraid to show both sides of the coin. Even though Alex is the definitive antagonist (as he should be for what he ends up causing), we can see that there is still a sliver of humanity left within the broken man.

With the camera providing a close-up of Alex’s face at one point, the audience can clearly see him trying his hardest to contain and process this emotional whirlwind of guilt, shame, and other heavy burdens.

This breakthrough is fleeting, though, as these inner demons have been growing for far too long, and no good comes from this struggle. As the title states, the once-loving husband is once again instead filled with furious rage.

Besides being able to visually convey the mind of a fragmented father while playing Alex Evans in RAGE, director Gary Wales has not only crafted other shorts through his production company called GAW Films but he’s also starred in HBO’s Game of Thrones and FOX’s X-men spinoff, The Gifted.

Collaborating with Mr. Wales on numerous projects through his film studio called DP Productions, Mr. Penman is a widely celebrated producer in his own right who not only helped make RAGE into a reality but has made other featurettes like Jack & Sara and Alone. Actresses Lara Fullerton and Rosie Steel strongly highlight this cast as Courtney, Alex’s wife, and Sergeant King, respectively.

Along with seeing them in other dramatic shorts like Sidelines and Revolution X, in which they display a broad range of emotions, Ms. Fullerton will be making her directorial debut with a soon-to-be-released short called Dove.

Aspiring actor Bailey Penman shines with his ability to subtly display tension as Colton and Michaela Sweeney pull at your urgency as the babysitter who is forced to take drastic action. Playing a bar bouncer who temporarily diffuses Mr. Evans, actor Paul Lapsley is also a stuntman who will have a part in an upcoming Spider-Man fan film playing the iconic Vulture.

Portraying police officers who are called in when things start to turn south, Paul Lee has already shown off his physical abilities with other entries in the action genre, and Barry Smith had a small role in Netflix’s The Last Kingdom that shows he can be strong-armed if the situation calls for it.

With RAGE currently streaming on both the Plex media player and the streaming platform Tubi, do not miss your chance to see the award-winning featurette that bravely raises awareness against a pandemic constantly stirring in the shadows.

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