Troy ★★★ 1/2 – HollyShorts Film Festival

Troy ★★★ 1/2 – HollyShorts Film Festival

Troy is a film that you cannot help but love, a wonderful breath of comedic fresh air for one reason: we would most likely (almost definitely) be like Thea and Charlie. Mike Donahue’s film knocks it out of the park.

Director: Mike Donahue

Cast: Adina Verson, Michael Braun, Hans Berlin


Troy has loud sex, 24/7. Troy shares a wall with Thea and Charlie. He is ruining their lives… or is he saving them? Troy is a darkly comedic tale about the unexpected consequences of unasked-for intimacy.

It may not be sex noises, but we all have that neighbour who annoys us in some form. It could be a next-door neighbour or the people across the street. They bring a level of nuisance to your life that you would much rather do without, but damn it if you cannot help but snoop and find out more about them. This is the situation that the long-term couple Thea and Charlie find themselves in. They struggle bring guests home to chat due to the overzealous sex their neighbour is having in the apartment beside them. They are trapped but also engrossed. Who is he? What does he do? How is his stamina that good!?

What makes Troy work, as mentioned, is that Thea and Charlie are so relatable; we are them. They go through a whole arc in their pseudo relationship with Troy. They are at first annoyed and frustrated that they cannot simply watch a film in peace day or night, so Charlie rages in the best way a neighbour knows how. In a strongly worded letter that was probably pushed under the door with Charlie bolting back to his own apartment. Over time this switches to farcical, and when those little crumbs of information about Troy come to the fold, then you are stuck. You are going down that rabbit hole quicker than little Alice.

It would be easy to just stick with the daftness in Troy, but Mike Donahue and co-writers Dane Laffrey and Jen Silverman also want to bring a lot of heart and charm to proceedings too. As the film progress, we also begin to care about Troy and the couple. Whether they like it or not, they are invested in Troy’s life because they are good people. Very good people, as we will see later in the movie.

By having us see and interact with Troy in the briefest of ways, the mystery fades, and we also care. Deep down, we care about those around us about what humans do. So, as Troy goes the unlikeliest of routes, the film becomes this sweet look at cohabitation with thin walls. Our couple needs Troy in their weird and wonderful lives. His mystery is what is interesting, and yet they never just knock on his door and talk to him. Resorting to sticks with mirrors and sprinting when the need calls for it to keep their daily dose of Troy fulfilled.

If you watch Troy and come out of it either having loved it or hated it, be sure that there will not be a better line in 2022 than “He’s gonna wear out his asshole”. So get away from the curtain or the wall spying on your neighbour and watch this film immediately.

★★★ 1/2

The annual Academy Awards® Qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival will celebrate its 18th year August 11-20, 2022. HollyShorts (HSFF) brings together top creators, industry leaders, and companies and has launched many filmmakers into the next stages of their careers. HollyShorts, a regular on the MovieMaker Magazine Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee list, also engages its community and spotlights short films year-round through monthly screenings, panels, and networking events. 

The most recent edition of HollyShorts had six selections nominated for Academy Awards this year with two wins for Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed’s The Long Goodbye and Ben Proudfoot’s Queen of Basketball.

HollyShorts Film Festival will take place in-person at the TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood, and stream via Bitpix TV,  with the annual Awards Gala set to take place on August 20, 2022. 

For tickets to the festival please click here.

For more of our reviews of the festival, please check out below:


North Star


Act of God





How Do You Measure a Year?




Love, Dad

Paper Thin

Kickstart My Heart

Return to Sender

Skin & Bone


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