The Devil's Business

"OK"

The Devil's Business Review


Essentially a two-hander, this slow-burning horror film contains some strongly unsettling moments. But while the characters are engaging, the writing and directing feel simplistic in their approach both to them and to the escalating freak-out.

The experienced hitman Pinner (Clarke) and his young, impatient sidekick Cully (Gordon) break into a house and wait for their mark Kist (Hansler) to get home from the opera. While they wait, Cully gets Pinner to tell him a creepy story from his years working for their boss Bruno (Miller). But Pinner's tale is interrupted by a loud noise outside, and when they investigate they discover the aftermath of a gruesome satanic ritual in the garage. And from this point on, nothing goes remotely as expected.

There's a lively tension between Pinner and Cully that's both blackly hilarious and darkly unnerving, nicely overplayed by Clarke and Gordon. Clearly the fidgety Cully has no idea what's at stake here, and as the gravity of the situation slowly begins to dawn on him, the film grabs our attention too. It's a remarkably claustrophobic little thriller, making up for the arch script and uneven acting with a growing sense of dread things spiral out of control.

Writer-director Hogan hides his low budget in deep shadows (the two men don't turn on any lights) and a limited cast that makes the film feel like a stage play. Especially since the main elements of suspense are in the long, detailed story Pinner recounts like a theatrical monologue. Or maybe it's more like a radio play, since the shadows mean that we can't properly see Clarke's face as he tells his grisly ghost story. But this cleverly sets us up for the nasty nuttiness that follows.

Until it devolves into a silly conclusion, this is an enjoyably gritty little movie, with strong characters who create a gnawing sense of increasing chaos.

The violence is effectively gruesome, even if it's accompanied by cheesy Dr Who-style music and make-up. As the veteran and the rookie, Clarke and Gordon bring a sharp edge to their interaction as everything that happens around them refuses to make any sense. But while Hogan's story twists are inventive and unpredictable, they're not hugely satisfying, simply because the increasingly goofy scenes are played with such a straight face.



The Devil's Business

Facts and Figures

Run time: 69 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th August 2012

Distributed by: Metrodome Distribution

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 5.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Sean Hogan

Producer: Jennifer Handorf

Starring: Billy Clarke as Pinner, as Cully, Jonathan Hansler as Kist, Harry Miller as Bruno

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.