Lewis (2011) Short Film Review
Director: Anthony G. Sumner
Stars: Deneen Melody, Jerry Murdock, Susan Adriensen
Reviewed by: Char Hardin
“Ugliness is Man’s Perception”
Horror has been on my brain since I was a tiny tot and I went to drive-in with my dad to see the great Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff…no I am not ancient, there used to be a drive-in that played the old horror greats and my dad shared these awesome fiends with me and to this day…I still enjoy seeing the early greats. Another form of horror I enjoy is the occult.
I am drawn to it and the supernatural side of horror. I will watch or read anything with satanic theme, not because I am a devil worshipper and animal sacrificing chick, nope, it just fascinates me, that Satan has such a mesmerizing pull so many people who profess not to believe in God, believe in the Satan. I always felt you can’t have one without the other. I believe in both and fear them equally. God is a loving one as I have been taught from a childhood, but there was that whole OLD TESTAMENT where he send floods to wipe us out…yeah…not something to forget. As for Satan he was originally an angel and he was beautiful and perfect and then he fell to the Earth, still beautiful…just broken. And the legions of followers to this Fallen Angel is incredibly massive. I am not preaching to you, merely setting the scene, for why I gravitated to an opportunity to view Anthony G. Sumner’s short film LEWIS.
LEWIS is one of my favorite short-films of 2011, and I have viewed 632 of them and it rises above many to remain in my mind long after the credits rolled. That is a major feat! Now I have not written 632 reviews for Horrorphilia or my blogs, but I have written summaries to all these people and still have couple hundred to go. Thanks in large part to a mentioning on festival site that I review short films. Thank you Joel Hulet of the Tulsa Film Festival, he opened the flood gates to some awesome cinema shorts.
Lewis is a cult following in the making based on occult ritual that starred the lovely innocence of Deneen Melody and the sensuous darkly magnetic Jerry Murdock. The whole cast was quite enjoyable and I sat enthralled with the whole 70’s vibe. The sets had that authentic 70’s look the muted colors and the clothes were in tune with the times. Deneen’s style and make-up threw me back in time of my youth and growing up during that time period. The small countryside town was perfect.
Now there were some off kilter things that stood out to me. For those of you that have been reading my reviews, you know I am a stickler on details. I catch some details that are overlooked or missed by other reviewers. Not intentionally, just happens, certain things, just jump out at me. For LEWIS it was the grocery store set-up. The products on the shelves, many of the products were not of that time period and their prices reflected the prices of today and not the seventies. This detail does not detract from the film and its story, just caught my attention. There were a couple a couple of more , one being a shot of Deneen going into a room and running out a moment later and it is dark, but seconds ago it was light outside. Makes me wonder how long that scene actually took to film that sun had gone down, when she rushed out of the room. As I said, these little quirks will not detract from the storyline.
I am writing this backwards, so let me give you a little insight what the story line is about for LEWIS.
Amanda Reece (Deneen Melody) is having flashbacks from a childhood traumatic event that has eluded her for many years and has recently been trying to resurface. It doesn’t help that her marriage is in tatters and her nightmares are getting stronger and causing all sorts of questions to pop up that she can’t answer. A visit with her priest Father Lennox (Jerry Murdock) affords the way to get away from her husband, while trying to unravel her personal mystery and celebrate her daughter, Aubrey’s 8th birthday. She packs their bags and goes back to where her nightmare started.
Aubrey (Taylor Metzer) tags along with her mother and with her takes her imaginary friend Lewis. The tiny house they are to stay in for the weekend sets the stage for her mother’s nightmares to become stronger and vivid. But Aubrey is not alone her friend Lewis is there and he is so pleased that Aubrey and Amanda have come.
While at a small alternative festival, Amanda learns who Lewis her daughter’s imaginary friend is and it disturbs her and after a moment in the local market, she wants nothing more than to leave this town, but the townspeople have other plans with Lewis to keep her and complete a ritual that was started when Amanda was a little girl. Secrets are revealed and revulsion and horror explode and the true meaning behind Amanda’s nightmares is revealed.
Let me say right here…for a 34 minute short…it was AWESOME! Started off with a good hook and I was mesmerized from start to finish as only something of the occult can do. I was easily drawn in and the storyline was interesting, the ritual easy to follow and understand. I didn’t have to struggle to understand what was going on. There was only one thing I was a little unsure on and the director Anthony G. Sumner was nice to send me the original short story so I could read it closer and it answered my questions and the inside details made my little issue clearer. LEWIS is a cleverly written story and I commend Anthony on his writing.
The gun shot kills were groovy and you get to see them a few times. Very graphic and the market scene with the butcher and bloody nature of biting was erotic for those into bloody sex. The joining with the Father Lennox was a trinity orgy. Another sexual scene involved a driver and a nun. It had me hurting with sympathy pains, but the dude seemed not to notice and he and the nun went for a wild ride! The bloody scenes were graphic and well orchestrated by the CLOCKWERK CREATURE COMPANY. I have the link to the trailer…
LEWIS and all he stands is an astonishing way to breathe new life into a dying town. I HIGHLY recommend this short and would rather see it next, on the silver screen in a full length feature film. LEWIS will quicken your pulse, repulse you with its demonic flare and have you checking your windows and locking your doors and most of all watching your children more closely. Bravo Anthony, Cast and Crew…LEWIS was a hit with me! 4 out of 5.
- T is for Toxin (2011) Short Film Review (horrorphilia.com)