Surviving Theater 9 – Opinion [Tribeca 2018]

The short film Surviving Theater 9 is playing at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Find screening information HERE.

By I. Simon

The shooting that occurred during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20th, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado is an awful tragedy that unfortunately happened and should never be forgotten. Twelve lives sadly were lost and seventy sadly were wounded, remaining one of the largest number of casualties in one shooting in modern U.S. history.

One of the survivors, Tim McGrath, decided to tell this story through Surviving Theater 9, a short film that he wrote, directed, edited, and played himself in, about some of the events that occurred before the shooting and the aftermath. While McGrath seems to have good intentions with his short film, it unfortunately does not work.

I appreciate that the film is told through an authentic voice, as McGrath was a survivor, and some of the camerawork is pretty good too, but unfortunately the acting, script, and direction are all lacking. The performances range from serviceable at best to awful. I never felt the pain of the survivors and some of the dialogue isn’t the best, and the drama has little to no weight. It all feels melodramatic and manufactured. I should have felt something for the survivors in this short film, but I didn’t.

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