Director: Joseph Albanese.
Writers: Joseph Albanese, and Charlie Frazier.
Clemency is an eighteen minute short from first time director Joseph Albanese, which was completed in October, 2009. The film was shot primarily with an Arriflex BL4 35 MM camera and the colourful visuals are heightened by a thrilling tale of a serial killer, legal loopholes, and vengeance.
The movie review site Horror Society describes the psychotic Poe as “a delicious cake plate of creepiness with a side of sociopath,” (Horror) and Poe’s ability to “play” with the character Sarah is what makes this film so enjoyable (Clemency). The mystery and tension are built early with Sarah and sister Melody attempting to escape a nighttime pursuit from Poe, but events do not end well for Melody nor an innocent bystander. Clemency flash forwards several years and surviving sister Sarah gets a chance to question Poe’s motives. Poe has escape the death sentence with a plea of insanity and the now the institutionalized Poe has something else in store for the vengeful Sarah.
The dialogue, transitions, directing techniques and imagery is visually excellent with the sound in 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound matching the picture in quality and performance. Lines like “you are only a victim after choosing to become one,” when spoken by a stoic Poe are chilling, with Sarah (Maury Morgan) showing believable trepidation in the presence of this double-murderer (Clemency). Director Albanese uses blood to reflect Poe’s (Chris D’Annunzio) misdeeds in a creative flair for the unsettling and the use of screams to transition from one scene to the next is effective in setting an uncomfortable tone. Only one continuity error involving a disappearing necklace slows the pacing down, with some early nighttime shots overly dark. Overall, this is a suspenseful and thrilling eighteen minutes that packs a lot of punch early, in the middle, during the climax and even in to the finish!
The slaughter does not end there as Clemency has recently had stops at the Deadcenter and Soutside Film Festivals with upcoming showings possible. Horror fans are highly encouraged to see this visceral and entertaining cinema when and where ever Clemency is available. The film is simply outstanding.
Overall: 8.5 out of 10 (great colour, great sound, effective writing, with only a few minor filming flaws dampening an exciting film watching experience).
A second review of Clemency at Horror Society, which is a little synopsis heavy, but gives readers a better understanding of what to expect from this short:
Clemency Reviewed at Horror Society by Sharon Foss
The Clemency homepage where future film festival showings will be posted:
Clemency Official Website
A second article on Clemency here at 28DLA:
The Oxford Murders at Film School Rejects