Trey Edward Shults (Mother and Son) is a name to watch out for in future projects. His take on the screenplay (which he also wrote) places the audience in a foreign household. Krisha acts as a catalyst for the film as audiences wonder what she has recovered from and how the night will play out. The camera pans around the room constantly following each character. Shults makes sure that we get a view of every character for at least a brief moment. The story is short and simple, but the storytelling is everything but that.
While a lot of the recognition for the critical success of this film can be attributed to the direction and camerawork, I would go amiss without discussing the stand-out performances of a few central characters. Krisha Fairchild (The Killing of John Lennon) stands out the most considering the fact that the story revolves around her character. Fairchild's acting is subtle at first, but continues to become hauntingly forceful. She pushes everyone to the edge with just the slightest change in mood. Bill Wise's (Boyhood) character, Doyle, is the perfect match for a head-to-head conflict with Krisha. Wise's performance makes us feel bad for Krisha, even though she is probably the least likeable character in the film. Of course, Trey Edward Shults brings a quiet, but powerful performance to the film as well.
The Bottom Line: Trey Edward Shults creates a short-form delicacy that audiences might have trouble digesting by the end.