A reclusive nun is tempted to leave the monastery. Her dream is to become a curvy, voluptuous woman; to become how she really feels inside. With cautious steps, she ventures towards the sinful city.
Sister Hell is the third horror short from the award-winning Norwegian filmmaker Fredrik S. Hana. His previous shorts Angst, Piss & Dridd and Autumn Harvest were two deeply dark and mysterious arthouse horrors that were rich in intrigue. For his latest effort, Hana returns to his filmmaking routes to inject some dark comedy to his latest slice of cinematic horror.
Channelling John Waters, Hana directs Johanna Kudsen Rostad in the lead role of a reclusive nun who has grown weary of her life. Longing to embrace the darker side of her sexuality she leaves her habit behind to start the long road of discovering her darker desires unaware that she is being tracked by Mother Superior whose sole purpose is to bring her back.
As director Hana has delivered another visually stunning short except this time what has been fueled my mystery and bleak violence has had a bright and colourful injection of crass humour. Although the jokes didn’t land every time for me I am confident that fans of this style of comedy will fall in love with it, and rightfully so.
The performances here are not as strong as I had hoped, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They are pretty much played over the top, but this style of delivery suits the overall mood of the piece and helps cement the fact that Sister Hell is a dark comedy. Thankfully these performances, no matter how bizarre the visuals on screen become, always manage to stop before the film wanders into spoof territory.
So if anyone could take the soul of a John Waters movie and give it an arthouse makeover then Hana is most certainly the man to do it. His ability to balance comedy and horror is almost flawless as his skills demonstrated in his previous efforts. However, although Sister Hell is not my favourite piece by Hana, it remains a consistently strong genre piece that deserves to be seen.
by Jon Dickinson (@marvelguy)