• Rev Horror

Retribution (Short Film): Indie Film Friday

Dir. David Duke (2022)


An abused woman gets her revenge.

The film opens with an uncomfortable montage of abuse, showing how, for the last several years, a woman has been abused at the hands of her domestic partner. In present day, she is battered and bruised, with a trickle of blood running down her lip. As her abuser yells to her from the other room, she reads a book before heading to the bathroom, where she begins to apply the makeup necessary to leave the house. Ironic stickers about “living and loving” adorning the walls around her mirror. He continues to verbally abuse her as they make their way to where they’re going, which happens to be a cemetery, and finally, she is pushed too far. She uses a wee bit of blood magic and calls upon an entity that strangles her tormentor and snaps his neck, and absolutely nothing of value was lost from the world. It is then revealed that the book she was reading was a book on witchcraft, and we celebrate with her as she gets her revenge.

Director David Duke does a great job of creating an incredibly uncomfortable scenario of abuse, and while the ending is quite satisfying, this is one lucky victim who is freed from a fate that so many never escape. It’s a short short film, with a runtime of just under five minutes. This includes the credits and the awesome slide of ways that abuse victims can reach out for help, an unfortunately necessary aid in our society. While the film definitely had a “happy” ending, and I was certainly glad to see her abuser get his comeuppance, the best part of the short was the actual depiction of abuse and how prevalent it is in our world. Duke unfortunately has his finger on the pulse of this topic and hits his short film out of the park.

Duke has a good eye for what he’s doing with these miniscule budget shorts, and in this film is drawing attention to an incredibly important topic. The acting is more than adequate for what’s necessary here, and by spreading his films through the medium of YouTube, he keeps things accessible while expanding his audience in a way that you could never hope to achieve before. As I always say, I’m a huge fan of indie films, and this one is no different.

Who this movie is for: Indie horror fans; Short film fans; Avid readers of books of arcane knowledge

Bottom line: Short, to the point, and incredibly effective, David Duke has himself another great little short. There’s something accessible about his work that you don’t get from the Daywalts of the world. Are they as scary or well-made? No, of course not. But they also operate with a tiny fraction of the budget of some of these larger studios. While the Horrorsquad 666 films may not have the impact or reach of some of the larger studios, their films are effective and pack a mighty punch in their short runtimes. Well worth the watch.

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