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"Kirk Henderson's THE VISAGE is an excellent example of an all-too-rare genre film. It is scary, intense, intelligent, funny (and surprisingly) completely free of gratutious gore and unnecessary bloodshed. THE VISAGE is a well-made, well acted and well-directed short film with a tremendously creepy atmosphere that is maintained throughout. The film delivers shudders, shocks and goosebumps in equal measure and stays with the viewer long after the lights come up. We eagerly anticipate his next work."
Bruce Fletcher
San Francisco Independent Film Festival
"Truly, the scariest film we've ever shown!"
Empire Film Festival, New York
"A magnificent horror film! "
Michael Carr, Director Telluride IndieFest
• Best Foreign Short Film - Festival of Fantastic Films 2004,
Manchester, England
• Short Film Winner - Telluride IndieFest 2004
• Short Film Winner - Key West IndieFest 2004
• Best Short Film - Maryland Fantastique Film Festival 2003
• Best Horror Short - Shockerfest 2003, California
• Award Gothic Horror - Dragon*Con 2003, Atlanta

A Deceptively Simple Ghost Story

THE VISAGE is a 40 minute featurette inspired by the short story "Viy" by Russian author Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls, Taras Bulba). Director Kirk Henderson's reworking of Gogol's story (which itself was based on an old Russian folk tale), is about a young man, Clifford, who is down on his luck and takes the job of watching over the body of a dead spiritualist for three days and nights. Andre, the mysterious older man who offers Clifford the job, seems to know more than he is letting on about what the young man will see and experience over the course of three horrendous nights in the dead spiritualist's home. As the nights pass Clifford begins to piece together a family history that lead members of the dead man's family to madness and murder.

Some might consider THE VISAGE, Gogol by way of Rod Serling, or perhaps a folk tale for our troubling times. Following his own individualistic muse, director Henderson sought to make a film that was effectively chilling without the use of gross-out gore effects; to build a story that relied on mood and premise to pull the viewer in rather than utilizing rapid edits often popular in current fright films. Yet, just presenting scares was not all the director had in mind, desiring also to leave the audience with puzzling questions that turn one's thoughts inward and remain long after the initial dramatic experience. Henderson's previous film work has won awards at the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Virgin Islands Film Festival, and has been called "inspired" by Playboy magazine.

So, in making THE VISAGE, the director's desire was to create an entertainingly simple ghost story that might also offer some insight into the human condition. There is more to the story and characters than is initially apparent in the production's short screen time. If you would care to delve deeper into THE VISAGE please click the "More!" link on this page for "Disclosures," but beware there are many spoilers.

All artwork and text copyright 2003 Kirk Henderson. All rights reserved.