A lot of short horror films get released over the course of a year. I know I don’t see every single one of them, but I do watch my fair share of horror shorts. I think the short film is a perfect medium for horror filmmakers to show off their chops and to get audiences excited over their work. With that being said, below are ten fantastic shorts that deserve your attention. Where able, I included the short in its entirety.
Easily the best horror short I saw in 2015. HEIR comes to us from Fatal Pictures, the same crew that brought us WORM and FAMILIAR. HEIR, though, goes further then the two shorts before it, and delves into some truly depraved and disturbing territory. Starring Robert Nolan, who starred in all three shorts from Fatal Pictures, HEIR is a story that takes the idea of anyone who abuses a child as being a monster to the next level. As writer-director Richard Powell explains:
HEIR suggests that victimization through sexual abuse leads to mutation of the psyche, soul and in our film, flesh itself.
HEIR is a brilliant short film that will get under your skin and have you thinking about it for weeks on end.
This is one of the shorts from the 2015 Blood in the Snow Film Festival. I just watched all the films in this years fest, and SEIREN is definitely a stand out. A model is doing a shoot on the beach when the photographer asks her to step into the water. She does and is promptly bitten by something. In the days that follow, the model notices dramatic changes in her eating, drinking, and sleeping habits. This is a familiar set-up that is executed brilliantly by writer-director Kat Threlkeld (who is one of four female directors to make this list). Stylish, creepy, and just plain old scary, SEIREN is brilliant. Check out the teaser trailer:
LET ME SEE YOUR EYES (2014)
Another fantastic short film from the team of director Derek Cole and actor Stephen Twardokus!! LET ME SEE YOUR EYES explores a post-apocalyptic world where murderous mutants roam the world bent on eliminating what is left of the human race. The only way to make sure someone isn’t infected is to check their eyes. Written by Jack Nathan Harding, who also stars along side Twardokus, this short keeps you on your toes and throws some pretty fun punches at you along the way. Derek Cole has made several feature films and they are all beautifully made. But I think Cole has mastered the short film and can convey a lot in just a little bit of time. Check out the teaser trailer:
RIPE N’ BLOODY (2015)
Here’s a fun, gory, lighthearted short film by director Patricia Chica. This is a short film set during Halloween that will have you grinning from ear to ear when it is over. Great acting and great effects stand out in this tale of “do unto others as you’d have others do unto you.” That’s all I’m saying about this one.
EL GIGANTE (2015)
A super crazy fun, gory short film that mashes up a few different sub-genres into one great short film. With elements of torture porn, Mexican wrestling, and the crazy-isolated-family tropes, EL GIGANTE takes some twists and turns I didn’t see coming. Directed by Luke Bramley and Gigi Saul Guerrero, EL GIGANTE is just about as fun and bloody as they come.
KURAYAMI NO WA (2015)
The second short from the 2015 Blood in the Snow Film Festival, KURAYAMI NO WA is a rather batshit-crazy short film made by–get this–fifteen year old director and co-writer Morgana McKenzie. In it, a Japanese doomsday cult hands out tainted candy on Halloween which turns the population into murderous zombies. The plague spreads and the survivors are forced out into the harsh Canadian wilderness. The acting by the young cast is fantastic, and McKenzie tells the story in such a way that Tarantino himself could learn a trick or two. This is a fantastically fun and crazy short.
Miss the good old days of the Italian giallo film? Then SLIT will be right up your alley. The short is about two women who leave a bar and are killed in their apartment by a masked killer. Sounds simple enough, right? Sure, but director Colin Clarke amps up the style and tension to steroid-like levels. The colors in the film and the killer himself (or is it “herself”?) will have you watching this one over and again a few times. I love this short. Here’s the short in its entirety:
HOSTEN (aka HARVEST) (2015)
I watched this short film recently and haven’t had the time to review it yet. In it, a washed up doctor works for an illegal organ harvesting operation, and when he is unable to deliver on a recent order, he trolls an online vampire fetish site to find someone who fits the bill. The cold, sterile feel of the film is perfectly reflected by the surroundings and landscape of Denmark (where it was filmed). Directors Martin Sonntag and Kim Sønderholm manage to make the viewer feel for the burned out doctor (also Kim Sønderholm), while at the same time making you root for the victim. A fun short with a nice, TWILIGHT ZONE-esque twist.
FIRST NIGHT IN THE NEW HOUSE (2015)
Not only can writer-director Marc Fratto, deliver on feature films, but the man also kicks some ass in short films as well. Fratto made my Best of list of 2015 with his film HELL FIRE, and this short film–which comes in just a little over five minutes long–also manages to entertain the hell outta ya!! In it, actress Katelyn Marie Marshall, who is pretty much in one room the entire time, starts to hear odd sounds in her new house. This ghost short is effective and made the hair on my neck and arms stand up on end. FIRST NIGHT IN THE NEW HOUSE proves you don’t need a lot of money or a lengthy run time to create a chilling, effective story. Here’s the short film in its entirety:
The third short from the 2015 Blood in the Snow Film Festival to make this list. This tells the story of a young couple who moves into a new house and their mistake of befriending the next door neighbors. This was one of the longer shorts in the BITS festival, and director Jon Hyatt used his time well. By establishing likable characters, a creepy atmosphere, and a strange, deadly mythos, Hyatt delivers the goods and keeps the viewer glued to the screen.
What were your favorite shorts that you watched in 2015? Sound off below in the comments section.
Stay Bloody in 2016!!!