The other day you may have caught my review for director Izzy Lee's revenge short, FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL... but today I will be reviewing her brand new short, RITES OF VENGEANCE, which I believe to be her strongest film to date. As I've mentioned many time throughout the reviews I do, I'm a huge fan of religious themes in horror films. In RITES OF VENGEANCE, the audience isn't presented with any supernatural entities that haunt the Church's hallways but instead are shown a glimpse into the true horror that so many Church Officials have tried to brush under the rug since forever.
RITES OF VENGEANCE has a run-time of a little under 5 minutes, but it packs a hell of a punch. The story centers around a priest who has an air of godliness and power about him. We watch silently as he descends his pulpit and exit to his chambers where it is revealed that he has a vile and sickening secret. Let's just say he has a penchant for underage kids that sends a chill down the spine. This revelation has unfortunately become something that is all too common within the Catholic Church; however, I can assure you, you've never seen vengeance played out upon those that prey on innocent children quite like this.
You see, it's the nuns of this Church who have decided to take matters into their own hands by destroying this detestable excuse of a man of God. It's really quite powerful to see these three nuns unapologetically eradicate this priest. I found it to be quite compelling since they have taken an oath to serve God and to do all that they can to be pure and without sin. The juxtaposition between making a mortal sin and extinguishing the life of someone for the better good was quite fascinating and one of the best parts about this short.
What also makes this short so fascinating is that not a single word is uttered throughout the entire duration. Through the facial expressions and the actions of the priest and the nuns, the audience is able to put together the horrifying puzzles pieces that result in the ramifications of those actions. Though there is no spoken word, the musical score provides the right amount of ambiance and dread which fit perfectly into the unfolding story.
Overall, RITES OF VENGEANCE is a gut punch of a short film that expertly shines a light on an incredibly damaging subject that needs to be stopped. I applaud Izzy for tackling a subject that so many people would rather turn a blind eye too. As for the addition of the nuns, I think it was a smart idea to incorporate them especially in regards to what they stand for. All in all, I truly believe that this is director Izzy Lee's best work thus far and I would even go so far as to say that we need a feature length film that shows off these badass nuns doing the Lord's dirty work. If you find yourself attending the Boston Underground Film Festival this weekend, make sure to not miss out on seeing RITES OF VENGEANCE when it has it's World Premiere March 26th.