Thursday, December 31, 2015

Short Film: Lilitu

Lilitu was the feminine form of lilu, which meant spirit in the Akkadian Language, and is often associated with Lilith. There are, as you will be aware, connections between Lilith and the media vampire. Lilitu, in her own right, appeared as a demon in the Angel comic series Auld Lang Syne.

Over Christmas 2015 I was emailed by Billy who put me on to this short film by Richard Lowry, which was released in 2015. Coming in at just over 9 minutes, I need to thank Billy for drawing it to my attention as it is a cracking short.

Ben and Jamie
It begins with a woman, Jamie (Johanna Rae) awakening on a couch. She stands but whilst she is in a living room her mind is elsewhere, in a forest. How has she come to be in this other place? The film doesn’t answer (though the IMDb page suggests it’s an astral projection). However a priest, Ben (Greg Travis), is there and is able to talk to her. He asks where she is and asks if there is any visual clue as to where the place might be; there is not.

Nina Sallinen as Lilitu
She starts to walk and he steps behind her. Her hand touches glass in our world as she reaches the window. He guides her around the house as she walks through the forest. She says that there is something ahead, maybe 20 feet in front. We catch a glimpse of a woman, Lilitu (Nina Sallinen), holding a bloodied bundle. Jamie is scared but Ben gets her to approach, guiding her to the garden in the real world. Closer, she can see Lilitu digging a grave with her hands and placing the bundle in. She looks at Jamie and then vanishes.

Lilitu approaches
Time has moved on (though how much we do not know). Ben has her dig in the earth to uncover the bundle. She digs (in reality her nails scrapping against concrete) and uncovers a baby skull. Ben asks her to check the left hand, knowing the child will have had a deformity with the fingers fused together. She confirms this. Suddenly Lilitu appears and Jamie realises that she can see her…

apotropaic cross
And it’s here I would leave things normally but I do want to mention that Lilitu has sharp teeth, can unfurl wings and the cross has an apotropaic effect on her. As for the short itself, it is an exceptionally well made little piece that leaves questions hanging but also manages to generate a nice amount of atmosphere – thanks in great measure to Johanna Rae who portrays terror exceedingly well.

The imdb page is here.

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