What drives a man to madness? That's the basic question our protagonist
James (Todd James Jackson) asks off-screen. But seeing him on-screen
prowling around the house and garden in a T-shirt and his boxers carrying
a bloody ax, he might ask the question only after the fact.
James first laying his hands on his new ax in the garden - sure, he only
intended to cut wood, but the ax seems to put a spell on him, so
eventually, he brings the head into the house, where he finds "an
angel" (Marita Gomsrud) - well, an angel in his mind, actually it's a
woman coming out of the shower, as she doesn't panic right away when he
comes towards her carrying an ax ... ouch!
Ax is above
all else a hauntingly atmospheric short that does not at all focus on the
central murder itself but mainly on its after-effects on the murderer -
and his attempts to explain his deed in his unhinged mind. And great
locations, wonderful cinematography, a strong central performance and
expert pacing truly make this story and its lead character's struggles
come to life.