The death of Carrie Reynolds has left a hole in lives of her family, her daughters Meagan and Jessica and her husband Charlie, but he is by far the worst hit, consumed by grief and unable to see beyond the darkness, crying at her graveside while the girls stand nearby, distressed but hesitant.
Both Jess and Meg concerned about their father, they wish to help but are very different personalities, Jess the practical one who wishes to allow him his own time to recover while Meg believes in “witchy voodoo stuff” to the point of telling her sister that she has sensed a presence in her bedroom at night.
Even if it is all hocus pocus, would a ritual be such a bad thing if it could be a trigger to start the healing process? Jess firmly says it would only make things worse, but with the sisters hearing noises upstairs and voices in the basement, it seems something in the house is already falling to the darkness, the family unable to escape the call of the encompassing void.
Billed as a Gothic horror short film and funded via Kickstarter to raise a modest £10,000, writer/director Scott Lyus’ Black Mass sees depression as a physical presence which has manifested in the lives of Meg, Jess and Charlie Reynolds (Sophia Eleni, Charlie Bond and Rendel‘s Johnny Vivash).
The costume and prostheses worn by Double Date‘s James Swanton as the embodiment of Darkness imaginative and impressive, it is clear where the funds have been spent, and in its ragged and bleak beauty it bodes well for Lyus’ feature currently in production, Walking Against the Rain.
Running less than twelve minutes including titles, the narrative of Black Mass is perhaps slight, and given that restriction the functional dialogue could have been sharper, the story principally told through the eyes of the sisters but never expanding their personalities beyond the necessary, but even so it is moving and has impact.
Having premiered at Birmingham Film Festival, Black Mass is currently playing the festival circuit