Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week – Exorcism Shocker “Deus Irae” (2010)

I was considering posting this Argentinian blood-curdling short film as “Scariest Argentinian Short Film of The Month” or “Scariest Exorcism Movie of the Month,” but decided to use it this week so there’s some variation on the ones I post.

Many people who’ve been wowed by the short movie say they didn’t want it to end.  Other common reactions are versions of viewers asking, “what the HELL did I just watch?”

OK, I had no idea how scary and batshit-crazy this short film would be. I was also floored by the writing, the effects… and how it made me want to turn all the lights on and worry about just what might be under my bed —even though it was still light out. This one is definitely worth watching full-screen; the lighting, atmosphere, and stunning cinematography by Lucio Bonelli are off the fucking hook on this 13-minute short!

All I knew about Deus Irae  (from Nerdhaus Films) going in was that it was very, very scary, had a graphic content warning for violence and gore, and was centered around the following plot: a mother and her little girl are preparing for her exorcism, waiting for a team of three expert priests to arrive. I was caught TOTALLY off-guard by the blood-curdling practical effects (courtesy of the sought-after award-winning Rabbid EFX, who utilized a five-member special effects team to create the horrifying sights for the short).  They’re almost a little too memorable –especially when you are having a restless night. The movie had a low budget, but you’d sure as hell never know from watching it.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the digital effects sequences (do NOT watch before the short!) from the film’s producer.

Many people who’ve been wowed by the movie say they didn’t want it to end.  The latest word is that a feature film is in the works (you can also read more about that on the film’s official website, right here). Other common reactions are versions of viewers asking “what the HELL did I just watch?”

I highly recommend checking out Rabbid Effect’s amazing, awesome website– there’s at least half an hour’s material from various sizzle reels, trailers, galleries, and digital art there, and the presentation is stellar. You also, as I did, may end up jotting the names of several movies they’ve done effects for, just from the demo clips, to look into and hunt down. Hell, I spent over an hour exploring.

Very creepy dolls are SO the least of the character’s problems in this short…

Pedro Cristiani wrote and directed this show-stopper of a short, and Lucio Bonelli was the DP and cameraman. If you’d like to know more about Lucio Bonelli’s work, here’s a link to more movies he’s created cinematography for.  Sadly, this is the only film he’s done in the horror genre, but hopefully that will change with the feature-length film!

Unsurprisingly, Deus Irae  made the rounds at the festival circuit– almost every single one, including Fantastic Fest. The film was shown at the Toronto After Dark film festival, where it took home the well-deserved Audience Award.

Quoting from the 2010 Mar del Plata Film Festival site:

“It doesn’t matter how it happened or what’s the logic behind it: the demons are among us. And the only people with enough knowledge and strength to face them are the Deus Irae, a strange militia of gun-loving priests. But every battle is different. As well as every possession. And every priest. The short film Deus Irae  shines as a particularity work that has a much larger build-up behind, suggesting this horror adventure is the beginning of a project that will surely change the way horror films are made in Argentina.”  You’ll get no argument from me on any of THAT.

Deus Irae  also roughly translates to “The Wrath of God” in Latin, as Wikipedia tells me, anyway.   Perfect.