HELL FOLLOWS is a short film that premiered at the Boston Underground Film Festival (BUFF) that tells the story of a deceased killer whose soul possesses the body of his identical twin in order to gain vengeance on those who betrayed him. Written and directed by Brian Harrison, the film presents itself (mostly) in black and white, though Harrison’s visual style keeps this short from ever verging on bland.
HELL FOLLOWS utilizes an intense soundtrack right out of the gate, often using the music as a structure of story itself. As Harrison’s short progresses and the onscreen happenings delve into a fervent sense of madness, the music follows suit, blending with the increasingly bizarre visuals and coming across like a nightmarish music video. While not every film can employ such a tactic effectively, it proves to be the perfect technique for a film of this caliber.
Unfortunately, for all the points HELL FOLLOWS gains with its unique style, the story verges on disorientating. This isn’t quite a case of “all style and no substance,” but Harrison’s film certainly lacks the narrative focus that could have set this project over the top. There’s nothing within the runtime that viewers will be particularly invested in, which in turn makes the impressive style of the short film less memorable.
HELL FOLLOWS is visually stunning and packs a chaotic energy so tightly within its 11-minute body that it lends a surge of that same energy to the viewer. However, the intensity is ultimately let down by a narrative that isn’t compelling, though it certainly makes an effort to be. You’ll love what you’re watching while you’re watching it, but you won’t remember it tomorrow.