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The Devil Makes Work

average rating is 3 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

May 23, 2024

Film Reviews
The Devil Makes Work
Directed by:
Colin O'Reilly
Written by:
Colin O'Reilly
David Philpott, Ben Shockley, John Powell

A troubled man reflects on his tormented life.


This dark short film explores the life of a person who has been in prison and believes that they have failed in life.


The film has a duration of four-and-a-half minutes and it is edited in a way that makes it feel like a trailer. It begins with Lawrence (Philpott), a middle-aged man covered in tattoos, sitting in an underground walkway. The film then moves on to the time when he was in prison, with himself socialising with other inmates, inmates working out and others fighting. Then he and other fellow prisoners are attending a service in a chapel, before Lawrence's Parole Board hearing takes place.


According to FilmFreeway, Philpott had been in prison and had no acting experience, yet he delivers a decent performance as an individual who sees himself as no-good and is filled with regrets. His character does not speak directly and his voice is his voice-over, narrating rather negative things about Lawrence and life in general.


The film uses Lawrence in order to tell a downbeat story about life's struggles and to explore life in prison. A dramatic scene that stands out takes place in a chapel, where a priest (Powell) tells the story of how Judas lost the opportunity to be good by betraying Jesus. The significance of this story appears to be that Lawrence can identify with Judas on the grounds that they both lost their way in life. The reason of his imprisonment is not revealed, however that is not important, what is important is that the viewer knows that he has lived an unfruitful life.


The short has been awarded for the cinematography and it is easy to see why, as the artistry that O'Reilly' put on that is remarkable and his editing also deserves recognition, which utilises dissolve techniques effectively.


The soundtrack consists of two tracks by American musician and songwriter Moby, those two being Snowball and Lilly. The former is heard throughout the majority of the film and it certainly helps to create a dramatic atmosphere.


This is a dark story. It is a story that looks into some of the harsh realities of life such as crime, prison and regrets. It is a story about a person who made bad decisions and now lives in sorrow. It provides a pessimistic view regarding the world and it does so with a great deal of drama.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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