‘Sexy, sultry and summoned from Hell!’
Lilith is a 2019 American comedy horror film about a spurned young female college student who conjured up a demon from Hell.
Directed by Lee Esposito – making his feature directorial debut – from a screenplay co-written by Luke Stannard based on Esposito’s 2016 short of the same name.
The Ritterhaus Productions movie Langston Fishburne (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Casey Waller, Taylor Turner, Savannah Whitten and Nell Kessler.
Jenna Collins (Nell Kessler) is a young college student whose heart has been broken by her self-absorbed boyfriend, Brad (Michael Finnigan). With some convincing from her best friend Emma (Robin Carolyn Parent), Jenna turns to the dark arts to seek revenge.
That vengeance comes in the form of Lillith (Savannah Whitten), a murder-hungry succubus from Hell. Jenna quickly realises that her new friend Lily is more than what she bargained for.
The lusty demoness embarks on a libido-fueled killing spree with no end in sight. Can Jenna and her friends stop Lillith in time before the entire campus is doomed?
The feature debut from director Lee Esposito makes an adequate show-reel calling-card picture in the horror genre, though a low budget shows throughout. Acting and occasional cheeky exhibits of humour compensate partially for what’s lacking in terms of production values, not that those elements would have helped too much.
History has given us Karyn Kusama‘s Jennifer’s Body, a horror dark comedy along very similar lines with all the largesse of a big-studio packaged entertainment. This one is just about on the same level; perhaps good news for Lee Esposito, not so great news for Karyn Kusama.
College student Jenna (Nell Kessler) catches her boyfriend of five years cheating on her, and her friends are distraught at her heartbreak. This being one of those only-in-movies academies where classroom lectures stray into demonology at appropriate moments (and it’s not even named Miskatonic University, which would at least have been fair), one of Jenna’s classmates, a novice Wiccan (Robin Carolyn Parent), hatches an occult-based revenge plot: conjure a succubus using Jenna’s menstrual blood. Therefore, via a conveniently used tampon, they summon the ancient, supernatural Babylonian temptress Lillith (Savannah Whitten). now calling herself ‘Lily’ for convenience.
When Lily is in her full demonic form she looks like an amateur cosplayer doing the H.R. Giger-designed she-monsters from the Species sci-fi franchise. Otherwise, she is quite a chatty modern type, a brazen and outgoing Goth-type minx in black lipstick and long legs and fingernails. Lily indeed seduces and murders the ex-boyfriend, but with the job done, refuses to depart and continues killing campus males on the party circuit. Jenn shares a sort of psychic link with the demoness, and she and her friends face the task of having to get rid of Lily.
Esposito directs the material in a competent, matter-of-fact manner for the digital cameras, and the nudity and graphic sex is actually kept to a minimum (sorry lads). One might even venture to say that cutting loose in a full-on Troma-style sleaze fest drenched in blood and exposed naughty bits could have raised the adrenaline level in a much-needed fashion. At least there is a cute rock tune over the closing credits. Acting outshines the F/X here, and the picture’s real find is the red-headed Savannah Whitten as Lillith.
Charles Cassady Jr., MOVIES and MANIA
“While this film has a low budget, it has a high fun quotient. It totally fits into the Linnea Quigley direct to VHS demon films of the past and that’s high praise.” B&S About Movies
“Esposito’s young cast give spirited, committed performances however it’s behind the camera that the energy is lacking, both in the direction and the screenplay. There’s nothing here that you haven’t seen a million times before. It makes me yearn for the days when lower budget horror fare sparkled and broke new ground.” My Bloody Reviews
” …manages to be an enjoyable film and ends with a wicked jab at one of Hollywood’s oldest clichés. But it manages to waste a number of potentially great set pieces along the way. For example, at one point the trio has to track the demon down at a party at “the horniest frat on campus”. That could almost have been a film all to itself. Instead, it’s played off quickly before the plot moves on.” Voices from the Balcony
Lilith was unleashed in the USA by Terror Films On-Demand and Digital on July 9th 2021.
Cast and characters:
Langston Fishburne … Professor Hardy
Casey Waller … News Reporter
Taylor Turner … Charlie
Savannah Whitten … Lillith
Nell Kessler … Jenna
Meena Knowles … Exotic dancer Lily
Robin Carolyn Parent … Emma
Chrissie Capobianco … Tall Lily
Sarah Elizabeth Giles … Blonde Girl
Mary Mossberg … Older Lily
Lily Telford … Kim
Dylan Sindelar … Sad Man
Tom Gersh … Basketball Jones
Joey Iannitelli … Frat Guy
Michael Finnigan … Brad
1 hour 33 minutes
Free to watch online on YouTube
MOVIES and MANIA says:
Although it’s clearly low-budget ($150,000 apparently), Lilith transcends its indie roots and develops into an amusing and entertaining pic with decent performances from a cast who come across as genuine characters. The crude special effects and makeup is basic but that’s part of the movie’s simple cheerful charm. The only real downside is the inexplicable washed-out colour correction so the whole thing looks drab.