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The Devil to Pay

USA 2019
produced by
Allison Maier, Gabriel Olson, Martin L. Kelley, Danielle Deadwyler, Lane Skye, Ruckus Skye, Robert Eagar (executive), Thomas Magill (executive) for Crooked Crow Films, Buckhead Film Group
directed by Lane Skye, Ruckus Skye
starring Danielle Deadwyler, Ezra Haslam, Jayson Warner Smith, Brad Carter, Adam Boyer, Catherine Dyer, Charles Black, Parisa Johnston, Tim Habeger, Shelby Hofer, Luce Rains, Allison Maier, Donnie Johnson, Steven Keith Phillips, Morris Phillips, Bill Tipton, Clay Logan, Matthew Dunaway
written by Lane Skye, Ruckus Skye, music by Brad Carter, special effects by Vii Kelly

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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A self-gouverned farm community somewhere in the rougher stretches of the Appalachian mountains: Lemon (Danielle Deadwyler) has always been a hard worker, has never caused any trouble and has always paid her "taxes" to the comminity's ruling family, the Runions - but her husband, who has abandoned her and their son Coy (Ezra Haslam) has left a considerable debt with Tommy Runion (Catherine Dyer), cookie-obsessed matriarch of the family, and she gives Lemon just two days to pay up, otherwise her sons (Jayson Warner Smith, Brad Carter, Adam Boyer) will kill her son, and to make a point they already dig up a grave. Being in no position to pay up, Lemon starts digging up dirt regarding the Runions and their age old adversaries, the Knoxes, and ultimately what she comes up with starts a bloodshed that also involves the local acid-obsessed cult. But having achieved all that much, she has her hands full staying ahead of the avalanche she has caused ...


Heavy on sun-drenched atmosphere of unease, this is a very chilling piece of Southern gothic, also because it doesn't just use its premise and impressive backdrops just for soulless big spectacle but puts an effort into making the mood palpable and give the whole thing a very archaic feel, as if the violence that eventually breaks out has been hiding under the surface all along - that surface being best esemplified as Catherine Dyer's character, who's never shown not baking cookies and who's made it her habit to weave death threats into the endless recipes she recounts. And thanks to a very grounded cast and a no-nonsense directorial effort, this has turned out to be a wonderfully unsettling film.


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD