"Do You Believe In The Devil? On the floor of a bar restroom, a man on his deathbed is offered a deal that could save his life -- but in the process may destroy his humanity.
I know you've seen "man makes a deal with the devil" stories before. but, as with the best short films, Alex Grybauskas's Do You Believe in the Devil? takes what could have been a hackneyed premise and gives it a spark of ingenuity. In other words, this ain't your Grandpa's morality tale. Heck, moral isn't a word that should be used in the same sentence as this film.
In Grybauskas's vision, the angel of death isn't some scythe-wielding, black hooded skeletor. Rather, he's Danny Pickler—a man child trapped in existential limbo. Under his watch, our protagonist can save his soul. He just has to be wiling to kill a few people in order to do so. The premise is absurd, but really, that's its charm, allowing Grybauskas to explore a variety of tones. The short is disturbing and morose one second, darkly humorous the next. In a lesser film, such schizophrenic mood swings would be distracting. Here, they are distinctly a part of the charm. The film's seriousness is always counterbalanced by an underlying sense of ridiculousness, and as such, both the narrative and its players seem to be in on the joke. As a pure drama, this just wouldn't work, and in turn, Grybauskas's tonal experimentation is one of the primary reasons for the film's success. It takes guts to make a movie like this—the kind of thing that would make Chuck Palahniuk proud.
Beyond the tongue in cheek humor and morbidity, this is a film about rationalizing. You see, we humans tend to rationalize a lot of the bad things we do in order to make ourselves feel better. And, while Do You Believe in the Devil? may take such a concept to the extreme, the message still comes through: at our core, us humans are pretty damn selfish. We've just gotten pretty good at telling ourselves the opposite."