Hell-Bent (2016)

This 2016 short film directed by Foster Vernon and produced by Mkaszuba Pictures is one I would recommend. For certain ages though, it does have a lot of swearing it in. Anyway, going into this film blind you wouldn’t expect what is about to happen, I never would have thought a demon was going to be summoned if I hadn’t read what the short film was about beforehand.

Set in a work place, in particular a magazine office; the boss Mr Bower (Timothy J. Cox) creates a competition for his writers to make the best article going and win the promotion. Someone who is pretty cocky that she will be successful is Beth (Ashley Kelley), who might be considered as the bitch of the short film, but deep down, as we watch more of the film, we discover more about her and the audience feels a bit sympathetic towards her, clever of the director I have to admit, to turn the office bitch to having reason behind her actions. Although, she is a bit harsh in her actions… And the reasons are right at the end… However, the main protagonist is painted in a good light and is continually throughout the short film. This being Michael (Justin Andrew Davis). From the pressure at work, Michael becomes determined to win the promotion. It just so happens that an article-winning story lands in his lap when his boss’ assistant, Agatha (Leslie Lynn Meeker) an older woman, reveals to Michael that she likes to summon demons, or more to the point, one demon. Introducing the demon, Ricky (Steven Trolinger). Ricky is hilariously savage at everything he does, making him an extremely comical character for the audience. But to keep in mind, he swears a lot, like a lot. This swearing could be considered as a symbol of cursing due to him being a demon who has come from hell, or maybe I’m reading too much into it. Anyway, he’s a great character!

Hell-Bent - Ricky summoned

I like the use of music in this short film, there were some moments of silence which made the audience feel like they were moments that were important to the main character. I also liked the use of music covering conversations to show the development of Michael’s article coming along, but also showing a period of time passing and friendships growing. You can tell this short film isn’t supposed to be a serious one, but it has some nice moralistic undertones. Mostly, to have belief in yourself and what you are doing, that you can become successful. On the contrary, there are moments that are funny and ridiculously enjoyable for the audience, even if the film only lasts about 25 minutes. The title of this film is very clever, having two meanings, obviously a determination of achieving his promotion, but also a demon coming from hell… Very clever. But like I said before, I would recommend watching this short film and get to know the demon Ricky like Michael has.

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