“Born Again” (2016): Satanic Cult’s Worst Fear Comes to Life in Horror Comedy Short

Placing too much faith in one member of a group has been the downfall of many a band of characters in cinematic fright fare, and the cult of Satanists in director Jason Tostevin’s horror comedy short Born Again proves to be no exception to that rule. This high-energy dark comedy delivers some solid practical effects along with its humor.

Eve (Ellie Church, who has been busy lately with appearances in such films as Frankenstein Created Bikers [2016], Plank Face [2016], and Harvest Lake [2016]) is ready to deliver a baby, and viewers soon see that she is next to a pentagram, along with three masked people who begin an eerie chant. Marduk (Brian Spangler), Aranunna (Tiffany Arnold), and Zahguhrim (Jordan Fehr) are Satanists who plan to unleash a diabolical entity on the world with Eve’s baby, but their plan relies on bumbling, stumbling, late-arriving cult member Greg (Randall Greenland) coming through. Judging from the group’s initial reactions when he finally arrives, they might have been better off counting on someone else.

Ellie Church’s character Eve is about to deliver something quite unexpected to her Satanic cult in director Jason Tostevin’s horror comedy short Born Again.

Jason Tostevin cowrote the screenplay for Born Again with star Randall Greenland, and the pair has constructed a tight little tale using a mix of comical facial reactions, expletives, sight gags, and slapstick. Tostevin directs the proceedings at a brisk clip, and the cast acquits itself well, including Jaysen P. Buterin in a role that should remain secret until you view the film. Shane Howard provides some impressive goopy, gore-soaked practical special effects.

The comic timing is precise and though Born Again may offend some viewers’ sensibilities, the overall spirit of the film is fun. The short is currently making the film festival rounds and is one to pencil in if you enjoy gags with your gore, or vice versa.

Born Again: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.