Watch: A Fragile Ego Cracks in Short Film ‘Toxic’ from Mike Manning
“Just go talk to her, man, she’s cool…” Trust the nice guy, they say. Toxic is an intriguing, suspenseful short film about toxic masculinity made by up-and-coming filmmaker Mike Manning. Now available to watch online – and it’s worth a look. The film plays on insecurities and the confusion of expectations vs reality, but also shows us how one fragile male ego cracks after being rejected by a woman at a party. Toxic stars John Bain as Darren, Keisha Castle-Hughes (Academy Award nominee for her performance in 2002’s Whale Rider) as Irene, and Nican Robinson as his friend Erik. The production value of this short is excellent, and there’s a very eerie atmosphere to the whole thing. Toxic masculinity is an important topic to address in film, though I think this falls a bit short without extra context. But that’s the point – ambiguity and intrigue.
Thanks to Mike for the tip on this short – debuted online from Omeleto. Brief description from YouTube: “When Darren agrees to give Irene a ride to a birthday party, we journey into the depths of his fragile ego as it becomes clear that the evening will fall short of his deluded expectations.” Toxic is written by filmmaker Mike Manning – a former VFX supervisor / graphic designer who that made a few other shorts. He works at BME Films developing projects, and you can follow him @BME_Manning. The screenplay is written by Mike Manning & Tom Anderson. Produced by Wesley Barker; co-produced by Thomas Boucher and Keisha Castle-Hughes. Featuring cinematography by Kevin Zanit, and original music by Daniel Walter. To see some behind-the-scenes + more info on the project, visit BME’s website. To see more shorts, click here. Thoughts?