ReviewsShort Films

Short Film Review: Simple Mind (2012)

There’s nothing like a film with a twist or two and Phil Newsom’s short thriller ”Simple Mind” has it’s share of twists and much, much more, including an outstanding lead performance from Timothy J. Cox, as a man with a lot going on in his mind and it’s anything but simple.

Cox plays Bob, an ordinary looking man, who, at the start of the film, is awaiting the arrival of the woman of his dreams, Samantha (Kristi McCarson). Bob is in love with Samantha, as he tells his therapist. She’s perfect in every way, Bob says, but get ready folks, as this film is not a charming look at a fine, new romance, but a chilling look into the mind of a very calm, collected, but nevertheless methodical serial killer. I was genuinely surprised at the shift early on in the film, as upon first glance, Cox’s Bob looked like your typical, awkward, shy guy, simply trying to muster the courage to speak to the woman he loves. Yes, that’s true; Bob is that…but he’s also much more. Way more actually.

The bulk of the film consists of Bob re-telling, to his therapist, his reasons and motives for why he kills, specifically the pleasure he derives from it and his claims that he’s the best. But, stick around for the whole show, because there’s a fun twist at the end.

Have you ever seen those episodes of 60 Minutes or 48 Hours where a serial killer is asked for the reasons why they commit their crimes? If so, you’ll notice something chilling, that most of the killers, typically, are normal, everyday looking people, like Bob, who can (and do) speak in a calm, quiet manner about the atrocities that they have committed. That, to me, is truly scary, that a Ted Bundy or a Charles Manson can speak so simply about murder or several murders. That’s scarier to me than someone with a hockey mask and a machete and writer / director Phil Newsom is to be commended for crafting a very intelligent and genuinely scary thriller.

Newsom receives great support from his director of photography Paul Nameck, whose camera work throughout is stellar, as well as from actress Kristi McCarson, who shines as the object of Bob’s desires.

But at the center of it all is Cox’s stellar performance as Bob. His Bob is charming and sweet one minute, but Cox can (and does) switch to cold and chilling the next. In only a 7 minute film, this talented actor manages to present a character that’s fully fleshed, and unique. As odd as it may sound, I wanted even more of Bob.

What does that say about me?

”Simple Mind” has been receiving rave reviews over the past couple of months from all over the web. Add Movie Vine to that growing list.

The film is available for viewing online at

Film review by: Kent Stockton

Wendy Shepherd

Wendy Shepherd is happily married, a mom of three sons, and an entrepreneur. She's been working online since about 1997, which started as a hobby and turned into a creative career. With a passion for movies, television, music, art, technology, and more, Wendy loves to share information about inspiring people in many formats. Her experience includes a background in digital graphics, websites, publicity, social media management, marketing, online publishing, and more through Studio Matrix. She's also been an associate producer for some film projects. Buy me a coffee.
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