The Devil's Business (2011)
A Dirty Business
Pinner (Billy Clarke) has been a hired killer for many years and seen just about everything, on the other hand Cully (Jack Gordon) his inexperienced apprentice who talks too much, asks too many questions and touches things he shouldn't. They have both been hired by East End gangland boss Bruno (Harry Miller) to murder a man called Kist (Jonathan Hansler). Having broken in to Kist's home Pinner tries to keep Cully calm by talking about a previous hit involving a stripper but as they look around the house and discover various occult symbols and markings they begin to wonder what in hell they have let themselves in for.
Do you enjoy visiting the theatre? Do you enjoy the back and forth conversation of two people sitting on stage? If not I suggest that maybe "The Devil's Business" is not the movie for you. The reason being is that the first half is simply the back and forth conversation of Pinner and Cully as they lay in wait for Kist to return home. I'm not sure the intention was to be stage play like; I wonder whether director Sean Hogan was trying for something more of a Tarantino style but the end result is unfortunately a dialogue heavy first half which feels like you are sitting through a stage production. The intention is for you to be drawn in to Pinner's story but it didn't draw me in and struggled to get me even close to the edge of my seat.
Now the good news is that "The Devil's Business" is an economical 69 minutes long which means we are only talking around 30 minutes of what for some will be dull waffle before the horror starts. The bad news is that if you didn't enjoy that first half hour I am not entirely sure the second half is going to be much better. Now I am not going in to detail other than to say what Pinner and Cully discover is nothing they have come across before. Unfortunately this second half makes this feel like it was made on a small budget, maybe it was, but in not having the look and style a bigger budget would have offered it becomes hard work.
The one thing which "The Devil's Business" has going for it is the acting and especially Billy Clarke who brings a touch of worldly weight to his performance which makes his characterisation feel real as if he had spent a life doing dark deeds.
What this all boils down to is that whilst "The Devil's Business" is only just over an hour long it has a style which I am sure will appeal to those who enjoy the theatre rather than those seeking big horror thrills.
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