Your friends and enemies have one thing in common, you! Mark leaves his girlfriend to be with Natasha, the girl he truly loves, but her brother Andrew comes with the relationship. Willing to sacrifice all, he adheres to Andrew’s manipulations while keeping Natasha ignorant of their deeds, which takes him through a series of violent and necromantic events, thus leading to his purpose in a much darker scheme. Ultimately, Natasha knows that love can be a cure…

A young man becomes involved with the criminal activities of his new girlfriend's brother and attracts something much darker in . Mark () is a young man in Kingston, Jamaica who breaks things off with his girlfriend Keisha () to be with Natasha (). However, this relationship comes with a price, as Mark is recruited by Natasha's brother Andrew () to participate in various gangland activities across the city. However, it also soon becomes apparent that a demonic presence has found itself drawn to Mark.

Nefarious is the debut film for writer/director Rhett S. Butler and is described as the first locally produced Jamaican horror film. The film sets the stage with its opening scene, which depicts a horrific murder and the collection of blood to feed a demonic creature. The protagonist of Mark becomes the target of this demon, as he finds himself becoming mixed up in the nefarious deeds of his girlfriend Natasha's brother Andrew.

Undoubtedly, it can be said that Nefarious is a passion project for first-time filmmaker Rhett S. Butler, who shot the bulk of the film in 2015, finishing the film over the next five years as he returned to Jamaica from Canada. Admittedly, I have to say that the end result of Nefarious is a film that obviously looks like it was shot on a DIY budget with a cast of predominantly non-professional actors, many of whom also double crew members on the film. I also admit that I had trouble at times following the story, though that can be partially attributed to the fact that most of the dialogue is in the slang-heavy Jamaican Patois dialect.

That's not to say that I don't have positive things to say about Nefarious and generally that the horror elements and special effects, which Rhett S. Butler has done himself, are generally well done, given the budget of the film. The horror of the film, particularly the supernatural elements, is greatly influenced by the Jamaican “duppy” mythology, particularly the belief that it is people and not places that are haunted by the spirits of the dead.

While the combination of a supernatural horror film with a gangland drama is an interesting route to take, Nefarious actually ends up being much less interesting when it focuses on the latter. While Rhett S. Butler does show some promise as a filmmaker, Nefarious is very much a “first film” and ends up being a horror film that is quite rough around the edges.

Nefarious is now playing at Cineplex Cinemas Courtney Park

Trailer for Nefarious

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How to Watch Nefarious

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.