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Cast: Aurora Grabill, David Graziano, Izzy Lee, Diana Porter, Jami Tennille
A man awakens to find himself naked and tied to a chair deep in a haunted New England wood. He is surrounded by masked women and their congregation who are preparing an ancient yet familiar ritual as they listen to the strains of Alessandro Moreschi's "Ave Maria" playing on an old Victrola. In a sacrifice for past crimes, body, blood and justice is served.
"Ave Maria" is Director, Skip Shea's follow up to his other critically acclaimed short film, "Microcinema." The film grabs your attention right from the start, you see a man tied to a chair and several masked women around him as they prepare for some type of ritual. There is also another woman who is filming it but she is not wearing a mask for whatever reason and she seems to be void of all emotions. And then there is Alessandro Moreschi's "Ave Maria" playing in the background, there are no words spoken in the film but there is no need for it either because the actions all speak for themselves.
If you already know the story behind Alessandro Moreschi's "Ave Maria" then you will probably get the film right away but if you do not then you need to stick around to find out. This is a shocking and disturbing film that is some how beautiful and poetic at the same time. It is not easy to make a short film and tell a story in a very limited period of time but Director, Skip Shea is a master at it and an award winner so it came as no surprise to me that this was another gem. The film is a powerful one that gets your attention right from the start and it keeps you clued to the screen the entire time. At times you will want to look away but you cannot because Skip Shea's masterpiece is almost hypnotic, the story of justice being served in the crudest of matters is hard to watch but you cannot take your eyes off it.
"Ave Maria" is busy on the Festival circuit now but you can visit the film's Facebook page HERE to follow its progress and to find out where it is playing. The film is winning awards galore as it makes its way around the world so be sure to check it out when you get the chance. I do not have much more to add as far as the story goes but the film is best seen anyway, "Ave Maria" is an effective, powerful and haunting horror film that will leave you thinking about it long after it is over. This is one film that deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. I would like to thank Skip for letting me check out the film for this review.
Harvest Tide Productions
***** Out Of *****