Best Horror Short Films of 2011
Here’s another list I wanted to throw together to shine the spotlight on the unsung hero of the horror genre … The Horror Short. For my money there’s nothing better than a well written and executed short film. It’s a skill that not many filmmakers can accomplish. It takes pinpoint storytelling skills and a filmmaker with laser-like focus to craft a badass short horror film. Here’s my list of the best one’s I’ve seen this year.
CRESTFALLEN (2011; 6mins; dir. Jeremiah Kipp; my review)
This is a haunting short that examines the topic of suicide and what brought Lo (Deneen Melody) to make such a decision. Considering this is only 5:55 long, it stayed with me days after I watched it. The success of this short is due, no doubt, to Melody’s performance. She’s innocent, wounded, confused, and in the end, strong. It’s a fantastic performance in a terrific short.
MAKING FRIENDS (2011; 12mins; dir. Marvin Suarez; my review)
Suarez is back and proves that he doesn’t need zombies to scare and creep us out!! In this short an 8-year old stutterer decides to make some new friends on Halloween night. Some kids just shouldn’t have friends!! Beautifully shot and acted, MAKING FRIENDS will make you think twice about letting your kids go trick or treating. Be sure to visit the link to this review. Suarez gave my the okay to post the short on anythinghorror.com!!
ROID RAGE (2011; 14mins; dir. Ryan Lightbourn; my review)
Nope; this isn’t about some Gold’s Gym workout nut going on a rampage. This is a short about a man with a mutated, killer hemorrhoid with a taste for hookers. This is definitely the most gonzo, over-the-top short on this list. The special f/x are terrific and Lightbourn packs more gore into 14mins than most filmmakers put into full-length features.
DOLL BOY (2010; 27mins; dir. Billy “Bloody Bill” Pon; my review)
Disturbing, creepy, violent, and twisted. These are the perfect words to describe Pons short film (and to describe the Texas indie horror scene in general). We get a scary clown pulling up to a warehouse and dumping off eight bound and gagged people. Inside the warehouse is Doll Boy and you just gotta see this to believe it. This gets my vote for the best Creepy Mask of the year. Don’t miss this short!!
LEWIS (2011; 34mins; dir. Anthony G. Sumner; my review)
Thank you Anthony Sumner!! Thank you for giving us one of the best horror shorts of the year!! LEWIS grabs you right from the opening scene and doesn’t let up until the amazing climax. Here Sumner gives us a terrific story full of repressed memories, Satanism, cults, and very bizarre sex (VERY bizarre). I loved every second of this short and this firmly establishes Sumner as a serious horror filmmaker with a very bright future. This is also the second short that Deneen Melody appears in on my list. Once again she brings her innocent-yet-strong performance and does a great job as the lead in this film. And don’t worry; Sumner goes way over-the-top with the content and the gore. This is a phenomenal short!!
THE TELL TALE HEART (2011; dir. Bart Mastronardi; my review)
Its because of this and LEWIS above that I didn’t rank this list of horror shorts. THE TELL TALE HEART is just as brilliant, fun, disturbing, and creepy as LEWIS is. There’s no way in hell I could choose one of these shorts over the other. Mastronardi takes Poe’s classic short story and updates it beautifully. He keeps all the elements that make Poe’s story so dark and creepy and amps everything up. The cast and acting is fantastic and the story really gets under your skin. What is so successful here is Mastronardi’s control over the material. He knows what he wants to capture on film and he has an amazing eye for details. The editing between the flashbacks and present-day is nothing short of brilliant. THE TELL TALE HEART will end up being part of the anthology film, TALES OF POE (Alan Rowe Kelly will also be directing some segments) coming out in 2012.
So if you’re gonna put a gun to my head I’ll choose LEWIS and THE TELL TALE HEART as tied in my number one spot for The Best Horror Short of 2011.
list compiled by Scott Shoyer