The Devil’s Business is a short and sweet British chiller, which delivers on all fronts. Writer/director Sean Hogan shows great promise, with this creeping old-fashioned Satanic drama, which at just 69 minutes, plays like a first rate episode of The Twilight Zone or Tales of the Unexpected.
The film follows two hitmen, Pinner and Cully (Billy Clarke and Jack Gordon) as they sit and wait for Mr Kist (Jonathan Hansler), a mysterious gentleman who has a deep, dark secret to hide. Much of The Devil’s Business is dialogue driven, and the writing and the performances hold it together. At times it verges on being over-written, but Hogan pulls it back from the brink, creating a film which is genuinely eerie.
Riffing of Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter, as well as horror films like The Changeling and Don’t Look Now, The Devil’s Business works in a way that most British films don’t, in that it keeps things simple, using the genre conventions as a foundations, but making sure that characterization is at the film’s heart. Something which a lot of filmmakers seem to lose sight of.
The Devil’s Business is not flawless, and its low budget origins are clearly evident, but the film holds true to its core aims, making it enjoyable and, dare I say it, thought provoking.
A disappointing outtake and a solid fifteen minute chat with the film’s composer, Justin Greaves.