JEHOEL: a short film by Michael Carolan

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Directed by:
Written by:
Starring:

RUNNING TIME: 8 min

REVIEWED BY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic

[youtube]https://youtu.be/-SJb904qfrc[/youtube]

A man sits at a campfire at night. He remembers running into a church where, at the confession booth, he was passed a piece of paper with a sign and the name Jehoel on it. A visit to a graveyard was the next step in bringing a demon to life…..

 The director, writer and everything-else-except-star of Jehoel, Michael Carolan says beneath the video of the film you can view above: “a short horror film I made for a cinematography project back in college around Halloween 2012. We had to make a narrative that was visually expressed rather than with dialogue etc.”. Judging by this film, which looks so polished it’s hard to believe it is the work of one [well two, if you count Daniel Kelly, the actor in the production] he has a real knack for the genre. Jehoel is a slightly confusing but very tasty concoction made from tried-and-tested elements like a visit to a graveyard, something at the door, and the resurrection of a demon. The film begins with a really striking shot. Amidst total blackness, you can make out the silhouette of a figure standard against fire. I’m not sure if this is intended to be the unnamed protagonist, who we next see sitting down, his face intense, at a campfire as fireworks explode in the sky above, it isn’t clear. I don’t think it is. In any case, the guy has done something very bad.

Now I’m going to admit that some of Jehoel was a little confusing to me – I may be wrong about most of it being a flashback – but I don’t think it was intended to be a linear, conventional narrative that makes total sense. Carolan really has a talent for both quick-cut montages and slower, more atmosphere- relying scenes. The graveyard scene is one of the most effective I’ve seen this year and this is from a tiny budget student production, while the cinematography has some really good shots like the protagonist having the net of a confession booth reflected on his face. Carolan clearly knows how to make things look good. It all builds to a rather tense climax, and the ‘lo-fi’ representation of the demon is no worse than some of the CGI crap you get. Carolan’s love of horror movies is evident from a subjective camera demon a la The Evil Dead to a bit of Goblin’s Suspiria on the soundtrack, while the whole thing has a whiff of  Drag Me Too Hell. Meanwhile Daniel Kelly has the right looks and mannerisms for somebody who is clearly in ‘over his head’.

Jehoel, whether intentionally or not, sometimes feels like clips from an actual feature film. It’s one I’d like to see.

About Dr Lenera 3150 Articles
I'm a huge film fan and will watch pretty much any type of film, from Martial Arts to Westerns, from Romances [though I don't really like Romcoms!]] to Historical Epics. Though I most certainly 'have a life', I tend to go to the cinema twice a week! However,ever since I was a kid, sneaking downstairs when my parents had gone to bed to watch old Universal and Hammer horror movies, I've always been especially fascinated by horror, and though I enjoy all types of horror films, those Golden Oldies with people like Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee probably remain my favourites. That's not to say I don't enjoy a bit of blood and gore every now and again though, and am also a huge fan of Italian horror, I just love the style.

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