A childhood of abuse is coming back to haunt Michael, now a priest, and is ultimately sending him off the edge. He has became evil personified, now commiting the most evil deeds imaginable.
Making movies about the occult, about Satan or about religion overall can be tricky: it needs to be done just right not to be dorky. That's just how it is - especially for someone as far from religion as myself. I don't care what's up or down. The same strict thing almost goes for shock horror in form of torture and the likes. This is why it might quite often seem like I am against movies that "try to hard", but I actually quite like the subgenre when it's done right. A really powerful punch can come either as a psychological hell, or as a visual terror. Both are equally hard to achieve, of course. With a title like "Behind the Cross" I was already expecting something Satanic of sorts, but does it manage to get accepted by me?
The story isn't really much of a story: it's about a priest, Father Michael, who was heavily abused as a kid. Now he is not a kid, and somewhere along the line he became a priest. But it's not until now that he has stepped into the dark side: he kills, tortures and other does other depraved things. He's one evil S.O.B.!
Being around 40 min long and not really carrying a steady plot, there's bound to be a lot of experimentation going on. Though I had expected more, as there's not enough here to really class it as experimental horror, and it rather becomes a torture movie. Being a torture movie means that for it to be successful it either needs another purpose than just torture, or the torture has to be strong. It might sound very strict, but to me it kinda is. Just making a torture movie often means you will be seeing a lot of the same thing over and over again, so you better have your shit figured out. "Behind the Cross" did not woo me. It's like they wanted to go to extreme places, just didn't have the resources (or guts?) to do it. It doesn't end up with any strong scenes, and the strongest might be something involving rat feces. A few scenes had potential, but just fell flat.
In case the torture wasn't the important part to them, then what we have left is the Satanic plot which just comes off as odd. Tomi Kerminen as Father Michael didn't convince me. While he managed to play a very odd person, anything that was done to try and pursue the evil persona was quite stupid - or perhaps "dorky", as I said earlier, fits better.
It was hard for me to get into "Behind the Cross". It's a short film that wants to be about evil, violence, depravity and other extreme matters, but instead it's just a film that doesn't go far enough, is guided by over-acting and is severely lacking a plot. It tries for some black comedy, but it's hard to seperate the intentional comedy from the unintentional. I have seen good reviews for "Behind the Cross", which I personally can't relate to at all, but at least it seems like Tomi Kerminen has an audience. Maybe one of two of you readers would enjoy this as well. For me it was a giant misfire.