In Too Deep ★★★★1/2 HollyShorts Film Festival 2023

In Too Deep ★★★★1/2 HollyShorts Film Festival 2023

In Too Deep is a shattering piece of cinema about going to the greatest of immoral lengths to bring a child back to life. That tugs hard at your emotions, Chris Overton’s film is essential viewing.

Mourning the death of his young daughter, Carol (Rachel Shenton) is doing her best to keep going; however, grieving father Ben (Stephen Wight) goes to extreme measures to do what he can to keep his baby girl alive.

Films on grief, whether it be losing a child or a parent, have been rife in films in recent years (a pandemic will do that to filmmakers, it seems). What Chris Overton does here with James Spillmans terrific script is nothing short of traumatically spellbinding. We pain for these characters in the future they have lost. Still, as the film takes an increasingly darker tone, we become more concerned for both of their safeties, as you can only foresee a grim ending.

Where Carol tries to go on, almost like a zombie, just present enough to get by in public, but in utter pieces when she is in the “safety” of her home. She is trying, though, and that is all she can do, especially as she is seemingly doing this on her own. Ben, however, is a completely different kettle of fish, so stuck in denial that his daughter is gone. He has not only visions of Jessica on buses, but he has resorted to creating a digital version of her to keep previous memories alive while also dangerously trying to create new ones.

As Ben’s delusion and withdrawal become more worrying, finally, Carol confronts him, and as absorbing and compelling, a finale comes forth in In Too Deep. When Carol has to make that decision, you genuinely do not know which way she is going to sway; that is the beauty of the work carried out beforehand with Spillman’s script and the two performances from Shenton and Wight. The scene is pure, gripping, heart-breaking magic.

Chris Overton has made a special film with In Too Deep, which spins a fresh take on a well-trodden premise of parents grieving over a dead child and allows for more discussion on the additional topic it presents to its audience. Like the recent Fantasia Festival feature Birth/Rebirth, we see a parent who is willing to do anything to have their child back in their life again, even if those means are the most excruciating.


The 19th HollyShorts Film Festival is running between 10th – 20th August with in person and digital screenings available throughout.

For more information go to

Coverage of Hollyshorts Film Festival 2023:


Isla Soledad

In Too Deep


7 Minutes

The After

Swipe NYC

Shadow Brother Sunday

Zita Sempri



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