Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
I just love me some Caribbean folklore. Douens. Lagahoos. Soucouyants. Papa Bois. The Rolling Calf. Duppies. Wonderfully fantastical creatures that make for fantastical tales. And one of the coolest is La Diablesse (translated “Devil Woman” or “She Devil”). She (or “it” I guess) appears like a beautiful woman, though her face is obscured by a wide-brimmed hat and she wears a long dress to hide the fact that one of her legs is bovine, hoof and all. She preys on lustful men, luring them to their death.
And this devilish woman is the focus of the horror short film La Diablesse, directed by Grenada-born, Australia-based Jason Roger Phillips and co-written by him and Fredric Nyholm. The film packs a lot of story into just over eight minutes. I liked that the story took place over various timelines, with the colonial past featuring some cool costuming. The music is at times forest folksy, at times threatening.
And speaking of threatening, Sandhya D. Nand is great as the titular seductress, all statuesque, sultry and ethereal. She is a dream woman until it all turns into a nightmare. She could have been a bit less conspicuous for my taste but it’s not too bad. And while I am not always a fan of narration, Claire De Lune does an excellent job as the voice of the La Diablesse.
The production quality is not all that great but not a deal breaker. All in all a fun little horror fantasy that is worth the time.
Editor Jules’s Score: 6 out of 10
You can watch La Diablesse for yourself by clicking here. And you can check out more Caribbean folklore content below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.