Self-Sabotage Turns into Psychological Horror in the Mystery Thriller, “Rorrim”

Directed by M.P. Murdock | Review by Antonio Rozich

We may fall into self-sabotage at times, but “Rorrim” takes it to another level.

Do you believe that a person, who leads a solitary life in a house where nobody can enter, could be afraid of somebody hurting them?

Not really —

But what if they’re both the attacker and the victim? They can’t win or lose; the only possibility is both are happening simultaneously.

You might feel confused about the meaning of this text, but M.P. Murdock’s film “Rorrim” — an extremely fitting film title — puts you in the protagonist’s shoes.

Your confusion is a result of her inability to make sense of the situation.

Blackouts and Self-Sabotage

Murdock‘s 15-minute short film takes you for a spin on a rollercoaster of memory blackouts, thrill, and “what the heck is happening” questions.

Because of this impressive mixture, it almost feels as if some parts of the film are missing, yet somehow, everything fits perfectly as the story moves forward.

You feel like there are missing scenes that could shed light on the entire plot. Since you know you’ll never see them; you feel anxious.

Adrianne is on the phone with her employer, confused because she missed the day at work in a fir of self-sabotage, and doesn't remember why.
Image via Murdock Productions

But isn’t this longing exactly what viewers should experience when watching a movie?

If the filmmaker manages to create the sensation that the audience wants to find out what’s going on right now, doesn’t that mean that the director did his or her job perfectly?

Taking self-sabotage to a new level

For instance, the film starts with Adrianne, the main character, in her waitress’ outfit. After a couple of quick scenes, in a blink of an eye, she’s wearing a beautiful, silver dress.

The transition is almost like a well-performed magic trick that proves that the hand is definitely quicker than the eye.

When it’s already too late, you’ll start thinking how did the magician pull out that rabbit out of the hat, or in this case, how did Adrianne end up from one room wearing outfit A to another room wearing outfit B.

Another aspect that’s also great about Rorrim is the same thing we as viewers are wondering, Adrianne, is wondering herself — unaware of her self-sabotage.

She is the only person that wants to solve the mystery more than anyone of us. You’re solving the riddle together with her or to put it more precisely; she’s solving it for us.

A class act

Teressa Liane who plays Adrianne does her job superbly as she juggles the character’s sudden transits in her “nature.” Every moment feels genuine, and you won’t get that weird moment where half-baked performance pulls you out of the film.

Liane’s performance will keep you sucked into the story through the entire 15 minutes.

Adrianne sits at her kitchen table trying to understand her slf-sabotage.
Image via Murdock Productions

Another thing that deserves mentioning since it can easily get overlooked is post-production. The editing here does more than just copy/paste/delete scenes to pack everything in a neat package called “a movie.” It pushes the story and even the topic further in an extraordinarily subtle yet noticeable way.

For the viewer, this can feel like hunting season where if you catch these insightful details, you’ll feel a positive and rewarding feeling.

One small detail that could enhance the film

Since not everything smells of roses, there are minor details in the film that could improve. At specific moments, the dialogue seems as if it is holding the audience’s hand too much instead of letting us figure out what’s happening by ourselves.

Instead of leaving breadcrumbs for you to follow, it bakes the whole bread and does its best to spoon-feed you as well.

This critique falls into the nitpicking department, but since every other aspect of the film is terrific, the dialogue feels like that one piece of fruit in a fruit salad that’s not as tasty as everything else.

Adrianne's uniform is engulfed in flames in a fit of self-dabotage.
Image via Murdock Productions

Nevertheless, you can be sure that Rorrim by M.P. Murdock is fruit salad, excuse me —

A film you’ll undoubtedly enjoy —

Especially if you’re into mystery thriller short flicks.


Antonio Rozich

Antonio Rozich is as a copywriter who enjoys dangling into fiction more than anything. From film scripts to audiobooks and flash fiction Antonio loves them all. He rarely rejects an opportunity to either write his original story or help somebody improve theirs. Besides his usual copywriting, he also helps filmmakers with their screenplays, by editing them and finding ways to improve the initial filmmaker’s idea.