2 HOURS. It only takes 2 HOURS.

This is a promo picture for the short film 2 HOURS.
This is a promo picture for the short film 2 HOURS. | Source

The Nightmare Begins...

Director: Michael Ballif
Writer: Josh Merrill
Producers: Michael Ballif & Josh Merrill
Executive Producer: Zach Wall
Starring: Josh Merrill & Brooke Hemsath
Production Designer: Allen Bradford
Original Score: Keaton Anderson
Editor/VFX: Michael Ballif
Special Make-Up FX: Allen Bradford
Sound: Josh Merrill


"They say it only takes 2 hours", Josh Merrill. After a virus has infected the worlds population and has decimated the majority of mankind, a small group of survivors are left to scavenge the hunting grounds for food, shelter, and weapons. It is only a matter of time before the rest of the human race goes extinct through the onset of a man made infectious virus turns human beings into flesh eating crazed animalistic beasts who resort back to primal instinct to hunt, kill, and eat. During the end of the world zombie apocalypse Josh has been bitten and is trying to find his way back to the other survivors so he can reach an area to get a cure to the virus before his time limit is up. He would rather off himself than turn into one of the creatures who are now stalking human like an open deer season in the backwoods of Arkansas.

Vivid dreamlike hallucinations of his wife Brooke plague him but fuel his hatred and rage of the infected horde. On a day like any other with the love of Josh's life, Brooke, one of the infected got into their home when the virus first took hold on the world at large. He could not save her and now he feels he must stop them at all cost to avenge her death. The hallucinations are more nightmare scenarios than anything. The virus turns his mind against itself and uses the one memory of Brooke against him to slow him down. He must find the remaining survivors by fighting his way through the brain dead infected "bastards" wandering through the forest. Quick on his feet and light on his toes he must make his way through as to not alert any of the "zombies" to his existence because they will come in mass to exterminate his very essence of life quicker than being infected with the virus alone would take.

Since he was bit, Josh has 2 HOURS to fight, run, and make his way to get the cure before the virus takes full control of his body and his soul dies along with the shell of flesh that it resides in. Everything is taking its toll on him through this journey with an expiration date set and fading fast. Time is running out fast.

Josh Merrill is starting to succumb to the virus and begins coughing up blood and his vision is getting blurry. The breathing becomes labored and his hearing is going in and out. He must force himself to hold himself together because he still has time left. Subconsciously telling himself that his death is coming sooner while, at the same time, battling within his own mind to tell his mind that he can still make it. He is scared and death is coming fast. Regretting a lot of his recent decisions to stray from the railroad tracks and enter the woods, he falls victim to the virus.

The bright light comes to Josh and he sees Brooke. Death has set in and his soul is now with Brooke in the afterlife. The body remains on earth as an animated shell that will go on without a soul to feast on other living beings and spread the virus. That is what a virus does, it replicates itself and the design is to spread as quickly as possible to as many hosts as possible.

Reaching out to Brooke his life flashes before his eyes and he finds peace and solace within the sight of his long dead love. Given the chance to explain himself to Brooke in the afterlife and apologize for leaving her to die, Josh finds comfort in his own death. The struggle is over for who he is. His soul goes on into the afterlife with his love. The flesh consuming shell of his former self goes on to find the survivors, with success.

My Thoughts on 2 HOURS

2 HOURS represents an entire new way to look at the zombie subgenre to me. Josh Merrill brings a new breath of true life to the undead by providing a glimpse into the afterlife when one dies. Director Michael Ballif does a great job by showing the struggle of dying but then giving relief of agony in death to the character by giving the dying character back a life he once loved and taking from him all the harsh coldness of what life has become. With every foot step, leap, and bound Josh gets to some sort of salvation, whether it be death or the cure to the virus, the audience joins in with his emotions and thoughts. We are given a look at what it would be like to have a virus take our life on earth from us but yet release us into the afterlife through death of our human shell. This film brings spirituality to the forefront in the modern day virus infected zombie film. It is a much needed blast of cold fresh air to awaken the subgenre and put the shiver to the spine of the industry. The zombie film is one of the most difficult subjects to show in a new light that has not yet been done. 2 HOURS hints at the romanticism brought to the zombie movie by the death of "Francine" in George A. Romero's 1978 classic Dawn of the Dead.

In short, it was much needed for the zombie film and the efforts of the cast and crew are greatly appreciated by this horror fan! Their endeavors have not gone without much reward. I hope these guys make a lot of success with 2 HOURS and I can not wait to see what they bring into the world next. Thank you guys!

Zombie Quiz

Macabre Faire Film Fest 2013 - Award of Excellence

Awards and Nominations

Awards:
Best Horror - Phoenix Comicon Film Festival (AZ)
Best Short - Macabre Faire Film Festival (NY)
Best Sound - Macabre Faire Film Festival (NY)
Best Directing - Hibulb Cultural Center Film Festival (WA)
Best Acting (2nd Place) - Hibulb Cultural Center Film Festival (WA)
Best Short (3rd Place) - Hibulb Cultural Center Film Festival (WA)
Best Int. Filmmaker - Staffordshire Film Festival (UK)
Online Audience Choice - A Night Of Horror Film Festival (AU)
Best Visual Effects - UVU Film Festival (UT)
Best Short (2nd Place) - Sci-Fi on the Rock Film Festival (CA)

Nominations:
Best Screenplay - Macabre Faire Film Festival (NY)
Best Musical Score - Macabre Faire Film Festival (NY)
Best Cinematography - Macabre Faire Film Festival (NY)
Best Editing - Macabre Faire Film Festival (NY)
Best Musical Score - Salty Horror Film Festival (UT)
Best Sound - The Indie Horror Film Festival (IL)
Best Special FX - The Indie Horror Film Festival (IL)
Best of Festival - Phoenix Comicon Film Festival (AZ)
Best Narrative Short - Phoenix Comicon Film Festival (AZ)
Best Horror - Phoenix Comicon Film Festival (AZ)
Best Action/Thriller - Bare Bones International Film Festival (OK)
Best Zombie Film - Bare Bones International Film Festival (OK)
Best Sound - UVU Film Festival (UT)
Best Directing - UVU Film Festival (UT)
Best Acting - UVU Film Festival (UT)
Best Short Film - Fear Fete Film Festival (MS)
Best Directing - Fear Fete Film Festival (MS)
Best Acting - Fear Fete Film Festival (MS)

Official Selections:
Macabre Faire Film Festival (NY)
The Indie Horror Film Festival (IL)
Short Sweet Film Fest (OH)
Sci-Fi on the Rock Film Festival (CA)
Salty Horror Film Festival (UT)
Logan Film Festival (UT)
Bare Bones International Film Festival (OK)
Capital City Film Festival (MI)
Crossroads Film Festival (MS)
Mad Monster Party Film Festival (NC)
Horror Realm Convention (PA)
Horror in the Hammer Film Festival (CA)
Phoenix Comicon Film Festival (AZ)
Virginia Independent Horror Film Festival (VA)
A Night of Horror Film Festival (AU)
TromaDance Film Festival (NJ)
Ft. Collins Horror Film Festival (CO)
Sunscreen Film Festival (FL)
Hibulb Cultural Center Film Festival (WA)
Staffordshire Film Festival (UK)
UVU Film Festival (UT)
Mascara & Popcorn Film Festival (CA)
No/Gloss Film Festival (UK)
Full Moon Fantasy & Horror Film Festival (RO)

2 HOURS - Youtube

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