Thursday, May 25, 2023

Short Film: The Heretic’s Curse

A short film that is just over 18-minutes length and I assume directed by John A Benjamin (the film’s credits list him as editor and DP), this was produced in 2015. The film shows all the hallmarks of being a labour of love that fights against a lack of budget. It is most telling in the locations, where a bland room serves as most, it seems, whilst a still of a mansion is the establishing shot. This does have one particular moment that stands out for me.

you will be cursed

The film starts with intertitles that suggest that the last witch trial in America was 1878, but the year is 1877. The intertitle also suggests that the purpose of these was a property grab. We are at Curwen Manor, owned by witchfinder John Curwen (Victor Cox). He has imprisoned cousins (Corinna Pokorzynski and Marissa Brassfield) and seeks a confession through torture. One of them levels a curse at him suggesting he, and his descendants, will be vampires.

stake at the ready

Cut forward to the present day and a man (Ted Valley) sits vigil over a woman (Shana Lang), a member of the Curwen family. Nearby is a hammer and stake and she appears dead. The family Doctor (Anthony Ennis) remonstrates with him and says that the family has a genetic predisposition to catalepsy. He insists on staying the night with her in case she awakens…


There is a staking – though that might be a spoiler, there is a twist – and that was the impressive part of this for me. So often the stakings in vampire films, especially the low budget, are a bit rubbish – but this one looks great – kudos to the sfx person. At the time of writing I couldn’t find an IMDb page. The film is available to watch on YouTube

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