When a priest reaches a low point in life where he doesn't care anymore, he's visited by a strange man who goes to confession after hours.
When filmmakers look to make horror based around religion and Christianity in particular, they often look at "The Exorcist". The problem is that these filmmakers are the same people who don't get why that movie was scary. It wasn't just the gnarly look of Linda Blair's possessed Regan, yet we get over blown horror movies with big effect budgets so that they can make the most ridiculous and over-the-top possession scenes imaginable. Philippe Chabot and Olivier Descamps Jr. did something else with "The Sinner". It's a short film that takes much more inspiration from the fantastic "The Exorcist III" and not focusing on possession, but the other horrors of religion and faith in general.
Aubert Pallascio plays the role of a priest who is old and tired. He doesn't really care anymore, he does his job and does it quite well. But as soon as he can go home, he heads to the bar to drink his thoughts away. Late one night after he finds out that his mother is laying on her death bed, he goes back to the church only to find out that someone else is in there. In the confession booth. He tries to get him out of there but realizes that the only way to get rid of this prick is to listen to his confession. This is where the apathy of the priest comes to back to him, a confession where his own sins come into question.
"The Sinner" is amazingly effective. It's not REALLY a horror movie but it has the suspense of the great '70s era horror movies. That they're inspired by movies like "The Exorcist III" and not only does it well, but at times on par with them, should not be ignored. There's a lot of great talent behind the production of this, not only from the director duo, but from Aubert Pallascio who portrays his role to perfection. Most of all, "The Sinner" is a movie about religion and faith that will mean just as much to those of us without religion. That's the greatest strength.
If there is one thing I have to criticise it would be the effects. Don't get me wrong, it's not an effects heavy short, but it's not without them. The visual effects are the only things that could take me out of the short (but luckily didn't). I'm not sure if much of the budget was used towards effects but I wouldn't blame them if they put their money elsewhere first, because overall the effects are the least important thing. So yes, the effects are lacking but they're not pulling the short film down in the dirt.
One can only hope that the filmmakers will co-create something else in the future, because they've already shown great potential as directors and writer. "The Sinner" has you on the edge of the seat. Not by jump scares or over-the-top effects, but by its suspenseful and emotional revelations. I haven't seen a better short film so far this year.