FILM REVIEW: Do Not OT
Mei Xin is working overtime on the second day of work. A locked room that was said to be unimportant is opened.
Director: Goh Ying Sheng
Cast: Naomi Yeo, Grace Chong
Language: English, Mandarin
Review by Jean Wong
As the saying goes, curiosity killed the cat. Do Not OT (2018) adopts a spooky approach while putting forward a message to chew on. Though it might be a strange combination, the message gets through nonetheless. Just as its name suggests, the short film advises its viewers not to OT – that is, work overtime – almost as a cautionary tale.
Mei Xin (Naomi Yeo), as curious as she is, notices a locked room at her new office and asks her boss about it, who only gives her a vague answer in return. As she works overtime on the second day, bizarre things begin to happen.
The drastic change in lighting — not only from day to night, but also from the brightly-lit office in the day to the dark office now — sets up an eerie mood as Mei Xin notices that the door to the locked room is inexplicably open.
Do Not OT also uses great cinematography to its advantage to amp up the fear level and provide us with some nerve-wracking scenes. The shaky camerawork as Mei Xin cautiously edges towards the room adds to the sense of apprehension. Following Mei Xin’s line of sight also limits us to certain angles, increasing the tension in the air as we nervously wait to see what lies ahead.
What really sells the horror of the film is Yeo’s impeccable acting. Yeo pulls off Mei Xin’s heightening trepidation as things go from strange to stranger. Her nuanced expressions allow us to feel privy to Mei Xin’s thoughts, from her curiosity to her alarm. Watching along, Do Not OT smoothly transmits Mei Xin’s fear to us its skillful use of lighting, crafty camerawork and great acting skills.
Do Not OT may have been disturbing for most of its part, but this is precisely what makes the film work so brilliantly. Director Goh Ying Sheng knows how to make a short horror film work and turn a simple story into something with much more flair.
About Shorties Film Festival
Shorties Film Festival is an annual week long celebration of Asia’s most exciting short films. Held across Asia from 7 – 11 May, the SFF seeks to celebrate and help young filmmakers get more exposure for their projects and films. Do Not OT will be screened on the 3rd day of the festival. Get your tickets here. For more information, visit their Facebook page.