Following our last short film review in the form of Neon, here at Filmoria we’ve been given another opportunity to check out the latest talent in the form of the less lengthier variety of filmmaking but nonetheless still of the utmost quality. This time around, we take a look at Devil Town, a short film from director Nick Barrett that has been acquired by Dread Central and Ruthless Pictures.
Introducing us to rude, argumentative and stuck-up letting agent Patrick Creedle, Devil Town opens with the big-hitter taking phone calls and laying down the law as to just who is the boss. He’s clearly a man who doesn’t take no for an answer and lives his life in the fast lane, doing anything in his power to get ahead in his career.
Taking a quick respite from the humdrum of a letting agent, Patrick heads into a coffee shop for a double espresso and sits himself down at a table, only to soon be joined by a man named Driscoll. On first appearance, Driscoll looks like a homeless man with his scraggy beard and unsavoury appearance but it soon becomes apparent that he has a dangerous warning for a dismissive Patrick and all may not be what it seems in the world they live in…
Pulling the rug from underneath the audience is very much the name of the game for Nick Barrett’s Devil Town, immediately leaving a sour taste in the mouth with its obnoxious core character and then twisting the knife in with a Twilight Zone-esque unfolding plot that has us slowly changing our perceptions of events unfolding around him. Here we have a clever little story, enriched with the feel of everyday life only to become something much more sinister and very much reminiscent of classic science-fiction and horror.
Barrett and his team clearly possess a great knowledge of classic tension-mounting properties and the influence of films such as Invasion Of The Body Snatchers creep their way in nicely as the short steadily unwraps the layers from within. Plaudits must go to leading men Johnny Vivash and Matthew Hebden too, with their on-screen chemistry ensuring we’re not quite sure who is the right man to back in the situation and leaving us with plenty of food for thought come the shocking conclusion. Both channel their dark sides and help to forge Devil Town into something rather engaging and rather scary.
Building up the tension brilliantly and reminding us of some of the classic science fiction and horror properties of the golden ages, Devil Town is a short film worthy of accolades and one that closes with a huge question mark making us lust for more. Nick Barrett and his team have done a stellar job and it’s no surprise this one has been making waves.