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Home | Film Review: Desecration (short film) (2012)

Film Review: Desecration (short film) (2012)


On a dark remote road a car is stopped at a military check point. Something isn’t right and the Soldiers find themselves in a situation they could never understand with deadly consequences.


Based in Northen Ireland and described as a ‘creative, modern take on an Irish myth’, this short film offers something a little different from your ‘conventional’ horror movies. Perhaps Desecration even managed to be too bizarre for my liking, as a bit of coherency is always welcomed, but I definitely can’t complain about the amount of effort that went into making this. There was ten months of pre-production (an astounding amount of planning considering the length of the film) yet an ambitious three days in which to actually shoot it! However, due to the generator failing twice in one night, they were forced to have an unscheduled and unintentional second shoot in which to finish it. Much like The Exorcist and many other classic horrors before it, the production crew became convinced that the shoot was cursed. It’s always exciting when the making of a film is as interesting as the film itself.

Just out of interest, I looked up the definition of desecration just so I could be clear about the title of this film. What I found is that desecration means to violate something sacred. Indeed, the story begins with a small group of military soldiers who encounter a rather sketchy looking fellow who turns out to be hiding a tied-up young girl in the boot. This appears to be an indefensible position and the soldiers are initially alarmed at what they discover. Once rescuing her from this kidnapping, it seems clear that this must have been the ‘desecration’ that has taken place…but no! This is because the little girl is not what she appears to be, and things steadily take a turn for the worse as the soldiers lose control of the situation.

A military advisor and a pyrotechnical professional were on set to give a sense of realism to the film, and I strongly admire the attention to detail that went into Desecration. The music was a really excellent accompaniment to the eerie visuals (I loved the blue tinge used in the shots – that traditional sense of blue representing peace and tranquillity has been turned completely on its head). I am aware of how tricky it is to shoot at night-time (especially in a wooded area) and so I think the fact that Desecration manages to be correctly lit throughout is also a point worthy of mention. Too many horror movies, even big budget ones, fall into this trap, yet Desecration did not. The use of white noise and wind sounds worked well at creating tension, making the viewer strain their ears to hear any impending danger. Similarly, the weird high pitched screaming noises were done flawlessly to set the right atmosphere. A round of applause for the sound guys, that’s for sure!

Apparently based on an Irish myth (which, unfortunately, I am unfamiliar of), I found myself a tad confused once the film reached the midway point. In that sense, there was something about it which reminded me of the film YellowBrickRoad, which also went down the route of being completely nonsensical in places. I’m personally not really into weirdness for the sake of weirdness, but I do like a film to make me think, and Desecration definitely did that. It’s unconventional, granted, but not necessarily in a bad way. It managed to win the Director’s Choice award at the Film Devour Short Film Festival though, so there is something to be admired about it, for sure.

Desecration (short film) (2012)

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