Snatched ★★★★ HollyShorts Film Festival 2023

Snatched ★★★★ HollyShorts Film Festival 2023

Snatched is one of those films that you simply cannot help but smile and laugh along with, just the right levels of absurd with sprinkles of horror homages to light you up even more – a stupendously gleeful time is to be had here in Michael Schwartz’s film.

After coming out as gay, teenager Joey must fight for his life when his parents react with otherworldly acceptance.

Coming out to your parents must be one hell of a stressful thing to do, but what happens when the very night you do, an alien invasion of sorts, comes down on Earth and makes everyone you know into a Queer Invasion of the Body Snatchers? That is the situation poor Joey is put into in Michael Schwartz’s film Snatched.

After Joey reveals his sexuality to his parents, they are dumbfounded but sadly distant from him. So, imagine his surprise and later horror when in the morning, his once distant parents are now all in on his sexuality, aggressively so. Nothing quite prepares you for the utter joyous insanity the next seven minutes bring. In fact, there is so much going on you could be excused for having to rewatch Snatched over again just to ensure you caught every line or physical joke held within it.

Tatiana Maslany and Brendan Hines are all in with their roles, and they really needed to be for this to work. If they were not absurd or over the top enough, then this would not hit as well as a comedy. Now if it were a feature, you would perhaps need to ramp up the madness slowly, but as we are in the wonderful world of short films, we can throw everything at the wall at the same time and be safe in the knowledge that audiences will lap it up. From the shortest of white shorts to suggestively asking if he would like bananas in his pancakes. There is a high chance that it is the daftest but funniest scene you will see this year. Though due to Hines, you may not look at a banana in quite the same way again.

Misha Osherovich has the unenviable task of playing Joey right down the middle by being the audience in the chaos. They portray Joey very well, too, for he is a character who just wants to be accepted, for his family to know the truth, and that it. So when they become so over the top, it is too overwhelming. Their world should not change because of who he is now. Osherovich, in those opening scenes, has to navigate themself around the madness by trying to put the rightful focus back on Joey. With so much absurdity going on, it can be hard to appreciate the work being done by the (excuse the term) straight person. They are the anchor of what we are experiencing, and if they go too far either way, then the film loses its centre.

Michael Schwartz wears his love of horror on his sleeve, it appears, with Snatched. With a great little staircase scene and general choices interspersed throughout the film, you are never quite sure how many horror elements the film is going to embrace. Then we get moments like the wrist scene, and you know you are in the safest of hands. Schwartz’s attention to detail and ensuring that the gag-per-minute ratio is off the charts. You will spot countless examples, but one that caused a right cackle was when Dana (Maslany) is in the car with Joey and his friends, and after finding out that Myles is staying at home for Juneteenth, a Ghanian Kenta cloth scarf is suddenly adorned around her neck as she then gushes about something that connects to it—utter, wonderful lunacy.

By turning everything up to the maximum level, the absurd moments ring true as much as a shot at people trying to be progressive for brownie points as it is to realise that just because a person, a son, or anyone is different in their sexuality or race than you, doesn’t mean you have to go overboard. Just treat them as the person they are. As Joey says, he is no different than he was last night; the only difference is that his parents know he is gay.

For all of the silliness and over-the-top nature of Snatched, a meaningful conversation can be had about parental and the community’s role in ensuring that young people feel comfortable with who they are. While perfect at its current length, you would genuinely love to see a 30-minute version of this, at least, just so you can see more of what happens in this world. Snatched shows us a world where overcompensating is king in this great satire.


The 19th HollyShorts Film Festival is running between 10th – 20th August with in person and digital screenings available through the 10th to 27th August.

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



Hey Alexa

American Sikh

Spring Roll Dream

Welcome to 8th Street



Random Check



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