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God Has Abandoned Us (The Devil Is Here)

by Ay 24

When a young woman is possessed by Lucifer, a jaded Priest must face his past in a disturbing, pulpy short.


As the writer/ director, I'm biased, but here we go.

The story was a little too ambitious for such a tight time frame, and struggles to bring it all together towards the end. Some clunky exposition and ropey audio also bogs down the first couple of minutes.

I was extremely impressed with the performances on the whole; though they were a little overwrought at times, the actors really committed, and that's the most important thing.

I was disappointed that the devil ended up being a dude at the end; I would have loved for it to really go off the rails, in the vein of the girl's head catching fire. I feel it ultimately didn't really commit to the absurdity towards the end, opting for more of a sappy emotional ending (which I feel isn't the film's strong suit).

Overall pretty satisfying, and a solid learning experience.

Terrible, 80s comic book title though.

very impressed with this film and how fun and engaging it is to watch, the colours, the vibes, the cinematography was so enticing and visually swag. I really enjoyed this creative decision as it fully immerses you into the world and story, as opposed to being shot in a more general, safe hallmark movie style which can tend to be visually bland and anemic looking.
The set design was detailed and looked even cooler with the smoke and lighting, making a moody, and rich atmosphere.
Also Loved the commitment to the possession theme -despite not even being placed in that category! I thought it did it so well, with a cohesive story to go with it.
The match-cut was so creative and cool-zooming into the priest's eye ball which then matches earth (ball). The beach scene was like straight out of a movie, looked very cool.
The characters were interesting and well done. The cynical priest and the frantic wretch on the beach were very amusing and very well played. Would've loved to see more screen time for the sister, her acting was stellar. The possessed girl couldve sounded and looked more possessed, though. The music and sound was awesome and eerie, from start to end. I especially liked the creepy child like? Noises when the devil was on screen, an actual devil appearance was cool to see. The story, lighting/camera use and creative direction really amassed a fun, beautiful lush film with campy vibes, making it my favourite watch this year.

Engaging overall and has the feeling of a much bigger film; in excess of the 5 minutes and once more in a good way. I know real time was the genre but with so many demonic possession films in the comp this year, this Exorcist clone was a little "been there-seen that." Highlight for me was the shift to limbo/hell/where-ever which was the best shot & acted sequence of the film. Our morally-grey Father looked like a kick-ass gun-slinger. I wish we'd got that film with that character, doing shit, on a mission or trying to escape from somewhere or working his way through the location. Tech, mostly good albeit some focus issues and wobbly sound in places. Some nice effects, props and costuming. The acting was genuine enough even with some redundant dialogue - "What's in the case?"; "Relics and shit." Sometimes saying nothing or just showing us has more power.

Can see why the CHCH judges liked it though as it ticks a lot of boxes they typically look for. Bravo.

What I liked:
Incredible to see such directorial tone and vision in a 48Hours film. I really loved how unapologetically dark this was, and how it kept the tension high. A gross, evil atmosphere created through the production design, cinematgraphy and acting. "Relics and shit" - hell yeah man. This was the year for unconventional priests.

What I didn't like:
Sounds like Director Felix is well aware of his film's own shortcomings based on the rare self-review above, but on my various rewatches I'd say it's ropiest element is probably the expository dialogue which was mainly delivered by the sister and assistant priest (is that what they're called?). I totally understand the need to establish your set of rules upfront, but one exercise I like to do when I'm writing is go back through on a second draft and remove all the dialogue, see if the film can be told purely visually, and then go back and add back in anything you feel is essential. It might surprise you to learn what is and isn't imperative information, and what can be communicated to savy audience members without dialogue.

Something else I liked:
I reckon that final sequence where we go to.. another planet? Heaven? Hell? Is maybe one of the more unique and genuinely intriguing ideas I've seen in a 48Hour film in a long time. I'm not gonna say it entirely made sense, or that I understood it completely, but I trusted that the director knew what he was communicating, and I'm sure if I dug deeper the pieces of the puzzle would be there to solve. Congrats on your best title award!

My favourite film of the year. I thought it was just because I'm a huge fan of demonic aesthetics and post-apocalyptic settings. But after rewatching this at the city finals, there's lots more good stuff in here! The world feels like it extends well beyond what we see. The film starts after the possession's already happened and the crew have been called in! While it's a cheeky stretching of the "real time" genre, the vision of the future is so cool (the priest's pupil matching into a burned Earth... chef's kiss). So many of the shots are so dynamic and visually rich. And I love an anti-arc (where the protagonist looks as though they might change but are revealed to have stayed strong to their beliefs the whole way though).
I guess I'd better critique something.. . Could've ended a bit more triumphantly with the priest performing a cool finishing move... drawing some sigils, drowning the devil in holy water etc.

I wish I made this. It's awesome.

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