SOL HAS POSSESSION IN ITS ROOTS AND IT WORKS FLAWLESSLY
Director: Carlos G. Gananian
Writer: Carlos G. Gananian
Release Date: 2017
Release Format: Film Festivals
MPAA Rating: N/A
Genre: Short / Horror
Running Time: 14 min
Sol prays for a miracle. She hopes that her husband’s soul can still be saved. As she waits for the priests to perform an exorcism on him, a familiar voice echoes in her head.
Sol is a Brazilian short film written and directed by Carlos G. Gananian.
The story is about an old woman called Solange who believes her husband is possessed by a demon. Two priests try to cast the demon out, one by doing the exorcism and the younger one by recording the events with a video camera. While this is happening, Sol starts to hear voices that keep asking her to free her husband and to let the priests go away…
Sol impressed me with an intelligent story and a brilliant cinematography.
Sol has an organic way to turn a drama setting into a horror tone with a powerful character, a perfect ambiance and delicate and flawless work on cinematography and scenery. The set is magical, and you are transported directly to an idea of solitude and growth that Sol (short for Solange) – the character – drives flawlessly to the scenes. She is a deep character and even though we don’t get to see much about her relationship with her husband, you can feel the love they have for each other or have in their years together. The house is alive in every way possible – pun intended with the spirit living there – and although everything is clean and perfect, there’s a lot to tell on those walls and decorations.
Solange is Catholic, very correct and peaceful, and she already has her unique way to “survive” the days while her husband is locked in a room upstairs right across their bedroom. She uses headphones to keep the noise as down as possible so she can still live and be a part of something else than the subject that is the possession and the surrounding horror. It’s so important for the viewer to acknowledge all these details, it brings so much from the character to the world and Thaia Perez is perfect for the role.
Her performance is natural and you feel for her throughout the film even though it may seem she has a few off-moments where she is by herself smoking a cigarette outside. Everything in the house is left perfectly arranged and organized while outside, at least the glimpse we have of it, seems degraded and unused like they have been cut out from the world for a while…
There are even white bars at the windows; the idea of a prison is transmitted and Gananian works really hard to put us in Solange’s perspective: behind closed doors, living her life as she tries to live her own. The shots are brilliant, the camera movements are on point and there’s definitely a lot of work behind Sol.
It isn’t really a scary movie, it’s not Conjuring “per se”, the jump scares aren’t necessary and Sol kind of makes up for it with a lot of suspense. I must say the only thing that left me a bit disappointed was showing too much of the exorcism. Not that I’m saying it isn’t important, it is, but I would have preferred to watch it only at the end. We see it two times and the first time I would’ve preferred Solange opening the door and us- the viewer- only hear the sounds from the other side and don’t actually see what’s behind that door… the suspense would have lasted longer for me. It didn’t go away because the film still surprises from there but it did leave me a minor sigh while watching that moment.
Sol means Sun in Portuguese. It’s funny because every time you’re inside the house with Solange, the sun keeps coming from the barred windows. The director keeps sharing with us that the perfect world is outside waiting for Solange. Sol is as well, as I wrote before, short for Solange. It can mean that she is the ray of sunshine of her husband or the hope of saving him after all… When you think that way, it has a huge impact on the story. It’s mind-blowing and intense. This film is pretty special.
I was really excited to watch for the first time a horror short film from Brazil. I’m from Portugal and since the language is almost the same I was really impressed to actually feel close to the work in some way. I loved the minor dialogues in it and all the performances were outstanding. A lot of love from the crew and cast to make Sol a perfect horror drama with twists and turns. It works, it’s beautiful and it’s worth a look if you’re into it.