Clocking in at just over 15 minutes this film demonstrates Lyus' potential to create a much longer piece, although it does suffer from some flaws.
Mary (May Kaspar) is a young college student who spends most of her time alone. We're introduced to her in a normal morning as we follow her about her day. The camera work is interesting here with a focus mainly set on Mary, fuzzing out the background slightly so that the audience are drawn to her as the protagonist.
Mary is also apparently a keen nature photographer, a hobby that is destined to put her into an awkward and life threatening situation when she is cornered by the Order of the Ram (a local Satanic cult led by Mother (Danni Scott-White)) who have taken a disturbingly keen interest in Mary.
The Order are convinced that Mary is the ultimate sacrifice required to bring forth Satan, their lord and master. And like all cults, they plan to do just that...
A slow burning film which uses a lot of really nice camera work and a score reminiscent of Hammer Satanic classic B-movies such as "The Devil Rides Out" to tell a story of a lonely girl who becomes entangled in a terrible situation.
The wooded setting is well placed with some nice finishing touches including some wildlife for Mary to photograph.
The approach of Mary in the woods by her captor is successfully menacing. Unfortunately the menace ends here. The subsequent scenes, where the real horror starts, is tarnished slightly by some hollow acting from our cult leader, Mother, who has the most dialogue in the film.
Mary also doesn't give a completely convincing impression of being terrified or putting up much of a fight which takes away from what could have been a very effective scene.
The male teacher, however, plays a really quite creepy character without having to do or say much. He looks completely too happy to be there!
The ending also leaves a feeling of wanting further development. Although a longer feature could focus on what the Order do if they are unsuccessful in achieving their ultimate goal, considering the act it took to find out.... It is abrupt, but it works.
All in all a watchable piece with great potential and very promising for future works with a bigger budget from Mr Lyus.
Catch the film's teaser trailer here: http://youtu.be/vQRYA8SAlRw
[Image: Crossroad Pictures]