Writer/Director Robert “Ace” Jordan and crew demonstrate admirable technical chops in this short movie “based on actual events.” I didn’t bother to research whether these “actual events” were really real “actual events”, or fabricated “actual events” just to make the film seem even more spooky, because well, it’s a rather cliche’d device that horror filmmakers turn to in order to add a sense of urgency and realism to their work. I mean, would Antichrist be any more disturbing if it was “Based on actual events”? I think not. In the case of Kill Devil Hill, it really doesn’t need to lean on such devices either, because it is a well-made, effective thriller, combining satanic and domestic violence in a small package that delivers a big punch.
At around 10 minutes long, Kill Devil Hill presents a simple story of what occurs when a typical family comes into contact with elements of a Satanic ritual. Obviously, bad things happen. Jordan, along with Cinematographer Gregory White display a keen eye with excellent camerawork throughout. Sound design and music score are well-executed as well. The writing and acting are solid, though both seem a bit forced at times. Scenes linger perhaps a bit too long, but I’m sure Jordan will improve his pacing and timing as he grows as a filmmaker. As a first-time writer/director, it is admirable work.
My only gripe with the short is that it feels more like a movie-making exercise than a finished thought. It seems like the opening sequence to a full feature film. If that’s the case, then I encourage Jordan to keep working on this idea – with more attention paid to character development, dialogue and story, he may have a real winner here.
Kill Devil Hill is available via Hulu: https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Jordanfilm
And you can check out their website for the trailer and more info: https://killdevilhill.webs.com