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by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor [October 9, 2009]





[]  Devi Snively's short horror film, Death in Charge, came away with two awards from the 2009 Shriekfest Horror/ Sci-Fi Film Festival -- Best Horror Short Film and the Pretty Scary Award. The former was given by Shriekfest, which screened Death's in Charge on October 3rd, 2009, in Hollywood, California. The latter is sponsored by Pretty Scary, which seeks to promote women horror filmmakers.

Death in Charge is the tale of a grim reaper (one of many lesser reapers for work for The Grim Reaper), who shows up one night with her hooded robe and scythe, to take away a single mother. 

The hard-paryting young mom is so busy with her own life, she plants her daughter in front of violent video games to keep her occupied. Upon arriving at the house, the reaper fails to claim the mom, who mistakes the reaper for the baby sitter and rushes out the door. So the reaper babysits, and bonds with, the daughter -- awaiting the mother's return.

Devi directed her film at the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women, which she was accepting into after a long application process.

Devi told the Investigator that she wrote the script in response to the Columbine shootings. "I wanted to explore the world where children grow up and turn to violence and guns. All the experts were talking about gun control, broken down families, violent media. I didn't think there was any single answer. I concluded that it was all true, everything that people were talking about, and a lack of caring."

Death in Charge is both a moving and memorable film, largely because of actress Marina Benedict. She is a curiously sympathetic reaper, wandering about the house in a state of dazed, innocent, alien-liked wonder."

"She was a civil servant that's always done her job," says Snively of the character. "She was supposed to kill the mother when she arrived. It go over, and so she spends the night with the little girl and learns about life. It's a tragedy because she never knew before this night what it was she was taking. She didn't understand what life is. She learns what life is, learns to respect it, and then unfortunately she still has a job to do. 

"I told Marina I wanted her to be like a child herself. She's learning about this world. When she was looking in the mirror, she's probably never looked at herself before in the mirror. She sees life through the eyes of a child -- even though the child isn't looking through the eyes of a child, because she's growing up too fast in this world."

More info on Devi Snively at her website. Death in Charge also has a website.





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