40uR Short - Film Review
Four witches...only one will be chosen!
40uR is written and directed by Charles Chudabala (Ugly Sweater Party), shot by Richard Aguirre (Lilith) and Paul Stephen Edwards (Ugly Sweater Party), and stars: Jennifer Nangle (Malvolia: The Queen of Screams), Erica Denise Curry (I Got The Hookup 2), Alex Hogy (A God Of Our Understanding), Charles Chudabala (The Gallows: Act II), and Joe Filippone (Deadly Numbers Segment-9 Masks: A Cursed Narrative).
Synopsis: On the night of the blood moon, four witches must complete a ritual before the clock strikes midnight. A race against time and flaring tensions, creates a perfect recipe for exposing their secrets. Will this coven come together...or fall apart at the 11th hour? 40uR marks Charles Chudabala’s, sophomore directorial endeavour, since the 2019, horror fantasy “Nightshade,” which also stars Jennifer Nangle.
Charles Chudabala's intention was to write a piece that felt like a season finale episode of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer “ or “Charmed”; and to highlight enough characterization so that each actor’s talent could shine, while exploring a role that felt larger than an episode. Chudabala wrote each role specifically for each cast member.
What is this short like?
This short movie focuses on 4 characters who are the final remainder of a witchy coven. They are brought together for the Blood Moon where they attempt to complete a ritual where one of them will become the chosen one. The problem is there is an internal power struggle amongst the group, with each member believing they are the worthiest member of the coven to receive the blessing. It appears that this spell will bring about the end of their 'wishes' that has given each member of the coven their personal desires.
This short manages to pack in some really emotive scenes and characters. We are treated with some very poignant speeches from each member of the coven as they reflect on what they will miss about their 'wishes'. Charles Chudabala delivers a powerful monologue about remembering the pain of his past cancer that will surely return. Erica Denise Curry manages to deliver another powerful speech about her abusive up-bringing.
This short is shot very well. It has a beautiful layer of colouring, lighting and setup. Charles Chudabala and his behind the scenes crew seem to know exactly what they are doing and trying to achieve. This short feels as if it is a scene from a well established web-series. The only major drawback from this short is that it is a short. Meaning, there is not enough! However, this is the magic of short films. Shorts give the audience a hint, a glimmer of a vaster story. And 40uR is one short that leaves you ready and bursting for more information. This is a testament to the writer Charles Chudabala who creates a blend of emotionally intelligent filled characters in a short moment in their lives that engages you, and leave you wanting more.
Acting: This is easy for me. Out of the four characters shown on screen, there are no draw backs. Each actor manages to hold their own, and deliver their scenes with naturalism and conviction. I will applaud both Charles and Erica who both have the slightly more emotive monologues about their past. But that isn't to say Jennifer Nangle and Alex Hogy don't deliver as they are perfectly cast and blend with the other characters well. A visual treat and well cast film - well done Charles!
Summary: Slick, stylish witchy short, reminiscent of an episode of the 90's series 'Charmed'. 40uR is a sharp witchcraft based horror short that manages to give you quality acting, drama and even some powerful moments of reflective characters. And not only that a creepy ending leaving audiences wanting more, more more!
Winner of Best Character: Elyse (Erica Denise Curry)
Winner of Best Acting: Erica Denise Curry
Best Moment: The finale - as the ritual ends!
Watch the film here: