Movie Review: Daughters of Virtue (short)

Movie Review: Daughters of Virtue (short)

Masterfully directed, effectively unnerving, and imbued with an undeniable retro charm, Daughters of Virtue is a pleasurable twelve minutes. I recently had the opportunity to watch the winner of Best Short at the 2017 Nightmares Film Festival, and was blown away by the film’s ambitious storytelling. 

Directed by Michael Escobedo (Dark Woods) Daughters of Virtue is a story of women, of religious housewives living secretly shamed lives, and of course of something more sinister at the root.  

Honestly, religion is one of my least favorite horror themes, yet Daughters of Virtue held my interest from scene to escalating scene. Each woman in this seemingly innocent prayer group is fully realized, no flat background characters here. And every bit of religious dialogue is spoken with a lingering shred of irony, done dutifully well by the splendid actresses, including star Maria Olsen (Starry Eyes, Southbound).  

As the tension builds, punctuated by an impressive soundtrack, I hoped the payoff would live up to the terrific film making. I was not disappointed. The end is delightfully scary. It managed to fill me with an almost gleeful jubilance I reserve for only the best horror moments. 

And the cherry on top is that director Escobedo is developing Daughters of Virtue into a feature length film. 

If you get the chance to see Daughters of Virtue, please do. It’s a visual feast akin to films of a bygone era. Something in its sheen, in its particular tilt, made me nostalgic for a sort of movie I didn’t even know I was missing. 

Written & Directed by Michael Escobedo; Produced by Zahida Kazar; Starring Sylvia Panacione, Maria Olsen, Brittany Samson, Milly Sanders, Melanie Cruz.

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