Picture this: you’re stranded in the middle of the desert. You’ve thrown your phone as far as you can. You’re reminiscing about what led you to that very moment and then you find an ailing dog. What do you do? If you are anything like Raúl Castillo‘s character in the short film Limbo, you head towards it to help. And just like that his survival story gets a supernatural twist.
Will Blank’s adaptation of an untitled graphic novella by Marian Churchland is heavy on the voice over. It’s how, even though we follow a sweat-drenched Castillo through this desolate landscape, we get to learn about all the regrets he has and see how he wishes he could be back home making a cup of tea. So, by the time the dog he encounters begins speaking in Sam Elliot’s voice, you’ve been lured into accepting this detail as keeping with the film’s hypnotic sensibility. That’s clearly something that was present in Churchland’s original story. “There’s no doubt that Marian Churchland’s voice drew me to Limbo,” Castillo told Variety. “Our director, Will Blank, very wisely, included the original source material when he first sent me the script and I felt that if we stayed loyal to Marian’s comic, then we would be in good hands.”
Once he completed Limbo, Blank sent it to one of his personal heroes, Guillermo del Toro, via email. According to an interview on Moving Stories, del Toro wrote back to the director calling his short “an excellent film.”
Limbo has been making the festival rounds for the past few months. It played Fantastic Fest in 2016 and Toronto After Dark that same year. But now, fans of the Looking star can see why Castillo is one of the best and hardest working Latino actors out there today. Check out Limbo in full below.