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Series / The Confession

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A web series about a hit man (Kiefer Sutherland) who goes into confession, and confesses his sins, but he is unrepentant, and the priest (John Hurt) can't shake off the feeling that the guy is here for a specific reason, but can't figure it out.

Tropes seen in this film:

  • Abusive Parents: The priest suggests that a childhood of abuse lead the confessor to be a cold-blooded killer. It's later revealed that the priest himself was the confessor's sadistic, abusive father.
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  • Affably Evil: The confessor is polite and well-spoken, even when dealing with most of his hits (provided that they don't retaliate verbally or physically).
  • The Alcoholic: The priest was one in the past. The confessor comments on the smell of "cheap whiskey" on the priest's breath that mouthwash and cologne can't hide, implying that the priest is still a heavy drinker.
  • Asshole Victim: The confessor says that most of the people he kills fall into this category and are deserving of death. His first hit - a cocky "Made Man" turned FBI informant - certainly fits the description, as does the crooked and arrogant investment broker Sheldon Hoffman.
  • The Atoner: The priest chose his vocation because he was racked with guilt about the kind of man he had been when he was younger.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The confessor will go on killing and knows that the priest is powerless to stop him because he's bound to confidentiality by the rules of Confession.
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  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The confessor has no guilt or remorse for the crimes he's committed, and the priest, while by the confessor's own admission is a good man now, has a very dark past. The fact that the confessor has shown decency and mercy and that he would never have become what he was but for his father's abuse and neglect makes this an arguable case of Grey-and-Gray Morality.
  • Confess in Confidence: Naturally.
  • Cruel Mercy: Done twice. Once with the corrupt investment broker, and the other with the priest at the end.
  • Dark Secret: Played straight with the priest, inverted with the confessor, who is very open to the priest about his evil. He does have a secret but it's about a time he showed mercy to one of his hits.
  • Driven to Suicide: Two characters. Sheldon Hoffman, the investment broker, is driven to suicide when the confessor forces him to return the money he embezzled at gunpoint. Decades earlier, the priest drove the confessor's mother to kill herself through years of physical and emotional abuse.
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  • Even Evil Has Standards: The confessor says that he has to believe that his hits deserve to be killed. He spares the life of one of his targets because he seems to be a good man guilty of no more than offending the "wrong" person.
  • Hiding Behind Religion: The confessor accuses the priest of doing this.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Confessor describes a childhood of brutal beatings and later abandonment by his own alcoholic father, followed by sexual abuse at the hands of foster parents. It's little wonder he grew up to be a violent and remorseless criminal.
  • From Bad to Worse: The confessor's childhood. The confessor says that when he was first sent to foster care by child services after being abandoned by his alcoholic and violent father, at first he thought nothing could be worse than his past home life. He was wrong - his foster parents were pedophiles who raped him and shared him with their friends.
  • Hope Spot: The confessor gives a brief one to the priest. After shooting into the confession booth and sparing the priest's life, he says that he can see that the priest really is a changed man who has found love and compassion through faith, implying that he's forgiven him. In fact, the confessor simply spared the priest's life so that he can continue to torment him for the rest of his remaining years by sending him reminders of the murders he's committed, while blaming the priest for making him a murderer.
  • Karma Houdini: The Confessor doesn't pay for his crimes, and will continue to kill, with the priest watching from the sideline, helpless to stop him or tell anyone else.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Inverted when the confessor reveals that he's the son whom the priest had abused and abandoned decades earlier.
  • No Name Given: The confessor and the priest don't have names.
  • Pet the Dog: The confessor has a few moments, such as letting one of his hits say a prayer and make peace with God before dying, and even sparing the life of one of his hits when he decided that nothing the man did deserved death.
  • Smug Snake: Sheldon Hoffman, the embezzling stock broker who thinks that his money and influence make him invincible.