The devil may not exist in the real world. Maybe it’s just another way to define the hidden side of each of us. But what happens when this subjective projection of our own dark thoughts materializes in order to influence our lives? ‘As The Devil Drives‘ is a short film that explores this question. Without necessarily being part of the Faustian Pact tradition, the project signed by Callum Patrick O’Brien is an exciting combination of psychological realism and horror, depicting the final confrontation of a young man with the embodiment of his own destructive, hitherto latent, emotions. Obviously, behind this thrilling narrative thread, the director hides a series of philosophical and, to a certain extent, psychoanalytic nuances, questioning the (im)morality of the thoughts of a person dominated by an emotional blockage. In fact, human identity itself becomes a subtextual thematic obsession through which the director suggests the difficulty of answering another dilemma: is a person defined by their external acts or by their most intimate thoughts? Fortunately, the result doesn’t push everything to a didactic drop scene, while the act of watching this film is rewarded with more than a tasteless life lesson similar to features like’ Bedazzled’. On the contrary, this ‘As The Devil Drives’ is a hauntingly, shivery experience that impresses both by the psychological dilemmas of the characters and by its extremely sensory atmosphere placed on the border between psychosis and fantastic macabre.


Ken’s secret love for Lucy becomes an obsession that prevents him from being connected to reality. In his attempt to escape this intimate truth, Ken will meet a mysterious character who knows and understands not only the suffering he faces, but also his hidden desires.


The cold, almost gothic atmosphere of this short film is built with the intelligence of a director who doesn’t hesitate to shock his viewers. The crepuscular images melted into an almost dehumanizing intimate universe are combined with nightmarish sound inflections in a visceral and dizzying experience. Even if his project gives the impression that the characters have not fully explored their own stories, Callum Patrick O’Brien is a director who brings before us the certainty of a more than promising artistic vision. However, while waiting to see the extended version of it, ‘As The Devil Drives’ remains, in this current form, an impactful project that will not leave indifferent horror or psychological dramas fans.