A scene from IT'S NATURAL TO BE AFRAID, directed by Justin Doherty.

It’s Natural to Be Afraid (2010, Justin Doherty)

It’s Natural to Be Afraid is a series of fractured moments in the lives of two (or two and a half) characters. The short opens with two of them, Mark Drake and Mika Hockman, in a perplexing scene. For a while, it seems like director Doherty and writer Neil Fox are just doing an extended preview for a compelling character drama.

It turns out, however, the fractures are all part of the same timeline and there’s a reasonable explanation for everything.

Doherty delays the organizing just long enough it isn’t a gimmick and instead becomes the most effective way to construct Natural’s experience.

Both Drake and Hockman, who have varying degrees of responsibility, are both excellent.

Bill Ryder-Jones’s music is phenomenal.

Fox’s script is finely constructed drama, able to incorporate a slapstick sketch. It’s a beautifully put together little film.

Though the final shot’s a little too hipster.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Justin Doherty; written by Neil Fox; director of photography, Alex Lawrence; edited by Doherty and Steven Worsley; music by Bill Ryder-Jones; produced by Steve Clarke.

Starring James Clarke (Ryan), Mark Drake (Sam) and Mika Hockman (Mya).

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