Keres

There's an old saying that you reap what you sow, though unfortunately it's probably just as accurate to say that those around us reap what we sow. Sometimes it's dismissed as 'collateral damage', though in Keres it's described as an 'occupational hazard', even for those who aren't directly involved in that occupation.

Of course some jobs are much more hazardous than others, as Lucas (Oliver Devoti) knows all too well. He works for a drug dealer called Sandile (Leon Ward) doing what seems to be pretty low-level stuff, but even so it's dangerous to risk losing the trust of such a boss. But Lucas took that chance, and it was his girlfriend Keres (Ellen Carter) and their little boy who paid the ultimate price. Shack (Brad Ashworth), one of Sandile's enforcers, dares to claim that their deaths were an accident even though everyone knows better.

Even Keres knows better, since she's back and not happy. If you've ever read any classical Greek plays you know that the dramas (and even some of the comedies) are all about revenge. This film, drawing its inspiration from the ancient Greek myths, is no exception to that trend. Even Keres' name is from Ceres, goddess of the harvest. That might seem like a minor thing to be in charge of, but in the old days one bad harvest meant starvation, not just higher prices at the grocery store.

This Keres has now been given power by a demon (Samantha Elliot Brody) to take her revenge on those who killed her and her son. But even though she still seems to love him, Lucas is hardly blameless in this, and it all comes down to just how far Keres is willing to take her revenge.

It's a fascinating premise, handled well -- the pacing is good, something that can be difficult when you have just 11 minutes to work with. The time constraint does make this feel like only some of the story, but the filmmakers found a strong balance of action and quieter moments. Carter has the toughest job as Keres, forced to convey the gentler emotions in her new, otherworldly form, but she succeeds, giving a creature literally built for vengeance a heart and even a conscience. There is one largish plot hole, but overall it's an excellent effort and an interesting look at what might happen when myth and the modern world collide.

Image: 
Movie poster. Not hell, but a reasonable facsimile.

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