Most people who are familiar with Charles Chudabala know him as an actor in films like Irrational Fear and Paranormal Attraction. But he has also written and directed the short Nightshade. And now he’s back with his second film as a writer and director, 4OuR.
Running just under ten minutes 4OuR revolves around the last four members of a coven as they prepare to perform a ritual that will grant one of them immense power. Elyse (Erica Denise Curry) and Dominick (Alex Hogy) get an unpleasant surprise when Janelle ( Jennifer Nangle, 10/31, Ugly Sweater Party) the coven’s high priestess turns up at the door. The binding spell they used to keep her from participating didn’t work.
She’s not happy about what they did, but as she says, it will take all four of them to make the ritual work. So, along with Christopher (Charles Chudabala) they proceed. But, as everyone knows, the quest for great power comes with great risk.
What sets 4OuR apart from other similar films is the emphasis it puts on the characters. It goes into their desires and motivation for becoming involved in witchcraft and why they want to be the one to ascend. That sets it apart from films like Coven and Coven of Evil which are more about the getting of power with no real motivation beyond being powerful.
Chudabala has improved a lot in the couple of years since he made Nightshade and handles the mix of serious and scary quite well. Knowing a bit about the characters makes it easier to care what happens to them. A bit more background into both why the coven was in decline and what exactly the ritual entailed would have been useful though.
All four performances are good but Nangle steals the show. Janelle is close enough to Nangle’s YouTube creation Malvolia: The Queen of Screams that I’m fairly certain Chudabala wrote the role with his frequent co-star in mind.
I don’t know what Chudabala has planned to follow 4OuR. Trying to get gigs directing segments of anthologies to get his work to a wider audience would seem to be a logical next step though.
You can check out 4OuR on the director’s YouTube Channel or right here.