New Horror Shorts: A Resurrection: Daughter of Dismay (2019) - Reviewed

Director James Quinn (Flesh of the Void) returns with his latest, calculated short film project, Daughter of Dismay. At a run time of only eight minutes, the creator absolutely proves that you don't need a full length feature to tell a fulfilling story. Quinn continuously pushes the fine line between art and narrative, qualifying himself as one of the better indie directors working today. Using bare funding and keeping his integrity fully intact, he continues to do exactly what he wants to do in his chosen medium. 

Although we're not given much and there is no real dialogue, Quinn goes to extreme measures to offer up a tightly wound short feature that's both stunning to look at while also using sound and music to full effect. In that realm, Joseph Bishara's composition is both beautiful and eerie, helping set the mood with a layered, ethereal score that's both beautiful and horrifying. There is a distinct musical tone that lingers throughout the project, hinging on drawn out string composition, defined editing and eerie sound effects. Daughter of Dismay has a surreal film tone that features tons of natural greens, blacks, and browns that set up a ritualistic tale that could eventually use some expansion. 

This newest project transcends in to a melancholic world of witchcraft where a young witch enters the forest to cheat the finality of death. Through a ritual of blood and soil, new life may be born into the world, with a shroud of mystery dangling tightly over the beautifully shot forest in which the film takes place. 

Horror addicts will find plenty to enjoy with his latest short. In fact, we'd like to see more from the world he's created here. Quinn has a flair for delving into cultism, gothic dimensions, and the abyss of the terrifying. He understands how to transpose these ideas to the screen with brilliance. Daughter of Dismay is another perfectly cut puzzle piece in his long running resume of indie projects. 

If you have a chance to see this, we highly suggest viewing this on the biggest screen possible. The cinematic elements here warrant a couple viewings. Quinn is a true visionary that doesn't play by anyone's rules. And it's a great change of pace right now. See this one, especially if you love things like The Witch or other films about this subject matter. It would be interesting to watch all his releases together to see how well they fit thematically. 

-Chris George