Short of the Week: Do You Believe in the Devil (2013)

do you believe in the devilSynopsis: While retching uncontrollably in the bathroom of a dive bar, the unnamed main character makes a deal with Danny Pickler. Pickler, a childhood acquaintance has been dead since the age of nine and says he is a dealer of death for God, offers him a deal.

In exchange for killing Pickler’s entire family and a few childhood friends, he’ll forget to carry him to the afterlife where it’s pretty certain he’ll go to hell. Told in flashback over drinks to another friend, his plan runs smoothly until he cannot kill Pickler’s childhood crush, Cassie Parades.

Leslie’s Review: This short is a bit of a fresh take on an old idea. The trick with these types of things is to find a good hook, and I think filmmaker Alex Grybauskas did well. He presents us with an idea with which we are already familiar (making a deal with the devil), and then throws in a couple of twists. One somewhat expected, the other not so much. Instead of Satan, we are presented with  Danny Pickler who says he’s from Heaven yet demands a horrific penance in exchange for the main character’s life.

At eighteen minutes, it is quite a ride. For a somewhat longer short, the fast pace is reflected in many short, choppy cuts of footage as well as in all the ground the main character has to cover from when we find him on the bathroom floor to the end drinks with his buddy. There are several parts of this short that left a positive impression, but only one doesn’t involve spoilers.

Before Pickler offers the deal, our main character acts out the seven stages of grief in a somewhat over the top manner, but those moments struck me as interesting both in writing and execution. Not limited to the stages of grief, the acting is a bit much at moments, but it’s not so much as to distract too much from the storyline. I appreciate its clever nature and recommend giving a watch when you’ve got a few minutes to spare.

You can find it streaming here:


This post was originally written by Leslie Shaip. You can follow her rants and movie reviews on her blog: Gallimaufry