7 Devils

Created by Joe Simmons, The Pitch 2023

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Our film opens with Mary, running through a field at dusk. She is being chased by something. Mary bursts into the local village pub but we get the impression this is not the first time Mary has done this as everyone ignores her. Suddenly, Bill, an old family friend of Mary’s, who has been away from the town for some time, appears and offers to walk her home. On the walk, Bill comes to find out that Mary’s family have all died in a barn fire and that Mary’s life has fallen apart. Over 2 days, Bill tries to help Mary through her pain as she blames herself for their death. This pain manifests itself in the presence of 7 demons, that torment Mary in a series of terrifying incidents. Until, on the final night, Bill wakes to see Mary walking towards the burnt barn with a lit candle. In the barn, Mary douses herself in petrol in an attempt to join her family in death, when Bill comes to stop her. They confront Mary’s demons together, and Bill helps her address her self-destructive guilt and find a way to live on as her family would have wanted.

Biblical Connection

7 Devils is a short horror film inspired by Bible passage Luke 8:2: “Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out”. This passage is the first mention of Mary Magdalene in the Bible, a pivotal member of Jesus’ disciples who, having lost her own family, found family in Jesus. Coping with the loss of a family and finding a new family (with Bill as a father figure) became Mary’s character arc in our script, as we looked to remain faithful to the source material and create a narrative that naturally motivated the presence of the 7 demons. When you think of a horror story you may think of gratuitous violence and senseless gore, but our story is different. We want the 7 demons to be frightening, but know our 15 certificate target audience and our budgetary constraints must guide our creative vision. We see the film as The Babadook meets A Ghost Story. We set out to write a horror film that tells a riveting story with horror elements that feel motivated and emotionally provoking, at the service of a powerful moral message.