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Devil's Business, The


Stars: Billy Clarke, Jack Gordon, Jonathan Hansler, Harry Miller

Director: Sean Hogan

A nifty, nasty little horror film that's really two stories in one. The first concerns two hit men (Clarke, Gordon) assigned to dispatch a former associate of their boss (Miller). But the target is a demonologist (Hansler) who 'has the eyes of a corpse and a handshake to match' and the would-be killers have bitten off more than they could possibly chew.

The second story is told by the veteran Irish gunman Pinner (Clarke) to his jack-the-lad assistant Cully (Gordon) while they wait for the 'mark' to come home from the opera (appropriately Faust). This concerns another associate of their boss who falls for a dancer at his club, but suspects she's having an affair. This is a ghost story, in effect, contrasting with the visceral horror that awaits and overtakes the hit men.

Quite well written - 'If you were paid to think,' Pinner tells his colleague, 'you'd struggle to make minimum wage' - and beautifully lit, much in the style of early 70s' Italian horror films, the movie strays rather too close to conventional horror - its monster is borderline unbelievable - before the end, and has a runtime that will probably prevent it reaching a wider audience. A promising directorial debut, however, even if you sense Hogan's heart is with the ghost rather than the monster.

David Quinlan

UK 2011. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour (unspecified).
70 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 12 Aug 2012