SHORT FILM REVIEW
Anyone can have a change of heart... sometimes.
THEY COULD BE lost, and if that's the case, they could be late. That's unacceptable to Santiago ( Anthony Tullo ), who, accompanied by his wife Cassandra ( Keren Ray ), are on their way to a meeting. A meeting that could save a business started by his father and now acquired by the woman they are meeting with. Mrs. Stonefield ( Laura Denmar ) has fired everyone and plans to close and relocate the business putting everyone out of a job. Santiago and Cassandra are hoping against hope they can convince her otherwise.
NO AMOUNT OF MONEY IN THE WORLD CAN BUY BACK YOUR SOUL.
Santiago is skeptical, but his wife reminds him of what his Father had said. Anyone could have a change of heart. When the three passengers unexpectedly encounter each other earlier than expected on the road, the opportunity to talk with Mrs. Stonefield in actual privacy is too much to ignore. In the dark of night, he prepares to engage Mrs. Stonefield in a heartfelt and hopefully persuasive argument. Money isn't god. Please don't relocate the business.
What is probably the best scene in Repent comes next. The conversation with Santiago and Mrs. Stonefield. The conversation shifts from business to family to money. We learn of Santiago's Father, who wasn't perfect but always put him first. His Father's need to help the community and, finally, Santiago's plea. Mrs. Stonefield pretty much laughs at him, and as much as you want to consider her as the greedy devil, it's hard not to sympathize a little with her by the end of the movie. She is doing what everyone is trained to do, but Anthony Tullo's film is rock solid with one message. No amount of money in the world can buy back your soul.
... AND A STYLE NOT UNLIKE SAM RAIMI'S EVIL DEAD FRANCHISE.
Earlier in the film, a cigar was brought into the fold. A cigar that Santiago said he would only smoke when all hope was lost. Seeing that his conversation is going nowhere, he takes it out, and it's also sometime around now that Repent makes good on its promise of a horror movie. What comes next is a mix of both what I would consider experimental movie making and a style not unlike Sam Raimi's Evil Dead franchise. It's not totally out of the blue, and as viewers, we know something supernatural is going to take place. I won't spoil any more of the film but will say the ending is done pretty well.
REPENT IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF TAKING WHAT YOU HAVE AND RUNNING WITH IT. THE RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.
When you look at Repent after the fact, the title of the film fits the premise perfectly, and although not perfect, some aspects of this film stand out. My favorite parts in this short film are the interactions with Mrs. Stonefield and Santiago, and knowing this, I wish the interactions with him and his wife were more than a seemingly casual appearance. There are some technical flaws, and even the very end of the movie doesn't so much say "The end" but instead just cuts off abruptly. However, the performances are admirable and the general creeping feeling by the end work mostly well. Repent is an excellent example of taking what you have and running with it. The results speak for themselves.
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