Anything Horror Scott’s Favorite Horror Shorts of 2012

1red-kingdom-rising-posterI saw a lot of shorts this year, people. A lot. Thankfully I wrote them all down!! For horror shorts I don’t just limit myself to 2012 releases, although the five films here are all from 2011 and 2012. I’ve said it a million times that I have the utmost respect for filmmakers who create really badass horror shorts. To be able to develop characters, atmosphere, and tone in such a short amount of time is nothing short of impressive to me. The six films on my list all do just that. So here’s my list of my favorite horror shorts for 2012 (in no particular order). As always, I look forward to your comments.

RED KINGDOM RISING (2012; 73 minutes; my review):

I know, I know. 73 minutes is hardly a “short.” But I and the filmmaker consider this one a short and for me it has to do with the structure of it. This is a beautifully made film that has it all. A strong story, strong performances, a trippy-dreamy-hallucinogenic atmosphere, and it’s creepy and scary as all hell. The story revolves around a woman who is trying to come to terms with her very traumatic childhood. Her fractured and damaged mind (due to the trauma) creates a warped Alice in Wonderland-like world for her so she can try and process and deal with her past traumas. It’s a beautifully dark short film, people. This is the kind of story that could have easily become a muddled mess, but writer-director Navin Dev has such focus and control over the material and where he wants everything to go. The cinematography and editing are nothing short of expert, and the special f/x and some of the imagery are downright disturbing. RED KINGDOM RISING will haunt you for days after seeing it.

familiar-posterFAMILIAR (2011; 24 minutes; my review):

This is the first short I watched in 2012 (waaaay back in mid-January 2012) and I knew from the second it ended that I’d be including it on my list as one of the best horror shorts of the year. FAMILIAR tells the story of a man, John Dodd (Robert Nolan) who has grown ever more increasingly bored and hostile of his life. His behavior is one of a man content with his life. He goes through the motions of playing his roles as husband, father, and bread-winner but inside he’s an active volcano about to explode in a fit of rage and violence. What at first seems to be a simple mid-life crisis turns out to be something so much more. Is John not really responsible for his thoughts? Is there something “inside” his head whispering those horrible thoughts? FAMILIAR is a horror short not to be missed. All these questions are answered in a very explosive and disturbing ending. FAMILIAR has been tearing up the film festival circuit and winning awards left and right. As soon as this becomes available I’ll let you know!!

klagger-posterKLAGGER (2012; 12 minutes; my review):

The story in KLAGGER isn’t anything new. A man in a warehouse which was shut down after a horrendous accident occurred there, is haunted by the spirit of one of the workers who died in that accident. Again; nothing new. But writer-director Casey Crow really elevates this short with giving us some fantastic shots and by building up some incredible tension. Give this short 12 minutes and it’ll get under your skin!! The filmmakers are currently working hard turning KLAGGER into a feature length film. I’m excited!!

Till Death Do Us Part posterTILL DEATH DO US PART (2012; 13 minutes; my review):

You know I had to have at least one zombie horror short on my list!! Writer-director Julián Lara has a really fun time here examining the underside of love that Hollywood never shows. How it makes otherwise rational people crazy with jealously and doubt. On their wedding day a couple is attacked by a group of zombies at the church. But this isn’t some random attack from some viral outbreak. The zombies attacking the couple and the people attending the wedding are all the ex-girlfriends of the groom. Lara really shows his love of the genre here and throws some great social commentary at us as well as some damn good f/x!! This is a fun one that’ll make ya think twice before agreeing to, “Till death do us part”!!

terrifier3TERRIFIER (2011; 20 minutes; my review):

This short is just all kinds of wrong!! This takes the idea of clowns being just about the scariest thing in the world and amps it up about 1,000 percent!! This clown isn’t just scary, terrifying, and the stuff of nightmares, it’s also the most vicious, brutal, sadistic clown that ever existed. Remember Pennywise from Stephen King’s IT? Terrifier fucked Pennywise and left his bleeding corpse on the side of the road as a warning to all the other “scary” clowns out there!! The story is simple enough. A woman driving back home gets a little turned around and stops off at a gas station for directions. Bad choice, lady. Terrifier is already at the gas station finishing up his “play date” with the attendant. Now the killer clown has his sights set on the girl. There’s a few twists and turns that you won’t see coming and the ending is absolutely horrifying (it still haunts my dreams). Check out my link above to actually see this short. You’ll thank me.

walt-poster1WALT (2011; 25 minutes; my review)

What starts off as a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie of the week quickly turns into a dark nightmare that serves as a warning to never trust anyone. Ever. Walt is a lonely old blind man just looking for a friend. He finds one in high school student, James. James is a lonely kid and a bond and friendship begins to develop. But one of these guys hides a secret and that secret isn’t revealed until the final bloody and violent frames. WALT has a lot of heart (and blood) to it and is an expertly crafted short that has better character development in it’s short 25 minutes than most two hour Hollywood big budget films.

Have you seen any of these horror shorts?

Stay Bloody in 2013!!!

Meet AnythingHorror.com's New Contributor Derek "Deggsy" O'Brien!!

Meet my new regular contributor Derek “Deggsy” O’Brien!!

I don’t know if you can all feel it on your end, but things over here at AnythingHorror.com have gotten extremely busy in 2011!!  This little website I started a year and a half ago has really hit it’s stride and become hugely popular.  I’m getting tons of requests from both filmmakers and authors to watch/read their projects and review them, and I’ve also been bitten by the “filmmaker’s” bug something fierce.  Besides having my zombie novel DEAD HUNGER currently being looked at by two different publishers, I’m also continuing to write some short horror stories and preparing to dive into writing part 2 of DEAD HUNGER.  I’m also planning on writing a script of one of my short stories to hopefully film one day soon (all this PLUS maintaining a full time job and spending lots of time with my kids and wife!!).  The last thing I wanna do is turn down any of the indie filmmakers/authors … I know how hard it is to get some exposure!!

Enter Derek “Deggsy” O’Brien!!

Derek and I became friends through Twitter.  He started out following me and reading my rants on Twitter.  Then I noticed he would more and more leave comments about my reviews.  I noticed immediately that he was extremely knowledgable about the genre and had a great overview of it.  Plus Derek always made me laugh out loud with his funny comments and very hysterical interpretations.  So when it got to the point over here where I needed someone to regularly contribute reviews and general articles, I immediately thought of Derek.  You’ll also remember I have another frequent contributor, Buzz Saunders.  Buzz is and always will be welcome to contribute, but I also know Buzz just finished his schooling and is working his ass off getting his career off the ground.

So as a proper introduction, I asked Derek to write a short bio about himself.  Well that was a mistake … holy shit this guy loves talking about himself (I’m totally kidding)!!  So let me turn over the rest of this posting to Derek “Deggsy” O’Brien.  Welcome aboard Derek and I’m looking forward to reading your reviews and articles for a long time to come!!

———-

Who is Derek O’Brien? If you Google my name, you’ll find an Indian quiz show host, an Irish footballer, and a blues drummer in Texas. I have been all of these, but for tax purposes I am none of them. On Twitter I’m known as Deggsy, some British thing I’ve had to get used to, along with driving on the left hand side of the road and saying “wanker” a lot.

I grew up in Queens, New York, developing a love for monster and horror movies from an early age courtesy of Creature Features and Chiller Theatre, devouring Godzilla and Gamera movies, Hammer flicks and Universal classics like I did double pepperoni pizzas (still do, actually). My father could always beat me on trivia regarding ordinary westerns, war and gangster films, but I soon eclipsed him on the oeuvre of Bert I Gordon and Toho Studios.

My introduction to zombies came from WOR-TV’s Fright Night, when I was old enough to stay up past the midnight wrestling with Sergeant Slaughter and Hulk Hogan. Among such fare as DEATHDREAM, EQUINOX and TRACK OF THE MOON BEAST, my 12-year-old self viewed CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS. Somehow I glazed over the interminable first 60 minutes of it, and my heart raced with the zombies rising from the dead. This was not for children! And worst of all, no one survived, something I’d never seen a movie before! Such was its effect that I spent that summer keeping a kitchen knife under my mattress…

The next horror milestone in my life was at age 16, getting into a midnight showing of the original DAWN OF THE DEAD. Later on, I’d see the flaws in the makeup and pacing, but at the time, it was such a mind-blowing, epic experience, and one shared with like-minded  souls! It remains the benchmark by which zombie movies are judged by me, and though we’ve moved on to quicker, nastier undead, I still have a soft spot for the shambling ones…

Not much else happened to me after that. Left high school, joined the Air Force, became a nuclear weapons specialist (Minuteman III warheads a specialty. True, that.), did a tour of duty in Montana, left and joined my family in Ireland, married, divorced and moved across the sea to Manchester, England to be with friends and my future partner, a novelist, stand-up comic and Android phone geek known in Twitterville as @Daized. I also wrote a set of erotic novels under various pseudonyms.

As for the last, I’d always been writing, but never intended to get into that field, until I found I could write about nearly anything, so long as I included plenty of sex scenes LOL.  Now I’m working on a mainstream novel, MATTIE DUCAYNE & THE DEVIL IN THE MIST, a young adult novel about a teenage female Wild West gunslinger battling a shape shifting demon in Victorian London. I want it to be my antidote to the execrable TWILIGHT series and its pathetic teen heroine, would love for it to be the start of a series, and if Hollywood is looking for the next franchise after Harry Potter, they know where to find me…

Texas Frightmare Weekend Update 2

Been having a great time everyone!! It’s Saturday morning (9:30am) & I’m already in line to meet John Carpenter. So far I’ve met Kane Hodder, Derek Mears, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Doug Bradley, & the man himself George Romero!!!

Every single one of them are genuinely nice people who really appreciate each & every fan they have. In my humble opinion they all deserve their fame & star recognition!! In fact yesterday when I was having lunch I was seated next to Moseley, Ogre, Haig, & director Tim Sullivan having lunch. I didn’t wanna bother them & be “that guy” but I did say hi & they all took a second to say hi back. Like I said, genuinely nice guys!!!

I have photos with most of the celebrities I met but I took them with my digital camera and forgot to bring my friggin’ camera wire to hook up to the computer!!! But no worries. As soon as I get home on Sunday I’ll post all the pics I took here.

Last night (Friday night) I also saw 2 really gory & fun flicks; Blood Night: The Legend of Bloody Mary & Sweatshop. Absolutely fun movies that were both really gory and obviously made by 2 directors who really love the horror genre!! I’m writing the reviews & will get them posted ASAP.

Texas Frightmare Weekend Update 1

Well I’m about 30 minutes away from the screening of George Romero’s Survival of the Dead & Sullivan’s 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams. Needless to say I’m excited!!

But I’m also pissed. Apparently Dallas isn’t as technologically advanced as Austin. I brought along my laptop & was hoping to post a review of the creepy & effective indie horror flick Vindication. I’ve been looking for WyFy since 3pm and no luck. I’m posting this update from my iPhone (the best & highest pinnacle of human achievement).

I’ll have to wait for later to do a full post w/ pics!! But hang in there… you know me & I’ll find some goddamn WyFy even if I have to hotwire the guy sitting next to me’s balls!!

Stay tuned … & …

Stay Bloody!!!

New Website Feature: SyFy Corner

Well I’ve held out for as long as I could.  I have a confession to make and it ain’t easy.  I’m opening up my heart to all of you when I say I have an addition.  Its a serious addiction that at times is debilitating.  Everyone; I’m addicted to SyFy Channel movies.  I watch all of them; the giant creature flicks, the nature-run-amok flicks; the Dungeon & Dragon-like flicks … ALL of them.  My addiction has led to ridicule by friends (I’m looking at you Brian) and family (I’m looking at you Tobie) and has killed many good hours of movie-watching time.

But I’m no longer gonna hide in the shadows; I’m no longer going to be ashamed of my addiction but will be embracing it.  And as part of my new found liberation I’m starting a new column here at http://anythinghorror.com; I’ll be reviewing SyFy Channel movies!!  I’m gonna review all of them that I’ve seen (at last count there were 127 of them, most of which I’ve seen).  I’m not gonna flood this site with too many SyFy Channel flicks all at once.  I’ll throw a review up every once in a while.  And keep your eyes on http://www.syfy.com/ so you don’t miss any of them.  In keeping with this extended “addiction metaphor,” syfy.com is pretty much my “dealer”!!

So what do you think about my addiction?  Am I truly pathetic (as my buddy Brian suggests)?  Do I need to see professional help (as my buddy Brian suggests)?  Or do I just have too much free time (as my buddy Brian suggests)?  Well I can definitely tell you its not because I have too much free time!!

Blog Update: Upclose Picture of Jackie Earle Haley as the New Freddy Krueger

Well we’re in April and the offcial count down has begun for the new Nightmare on Elm Street remake.  I’m looking forward to it if for no other reason than for the new Freddy himself, Jackie Earle Haley.  Haley’s been having a huge career boost lately starting with his portrayal of Rorschach in the Watchmen movie (2009).  Since then he’s appeared in the 2010 film Shutter Island and has a great role in the Fox TV show Human Target.  I really believe that if anyone can add a new demented and intense dimension to the role of Freddy Krueger (who has, let’s face it, become the laughing stock of the slasher world), its Haley.

And here is the 1st closeup still of Haley as Krueger.  What do you think??

Jackie Earle Haley as the new Freddy Krueger

Blog Update: New Upcoming Horror Movie Feature

Hello loyal AnythingHorror readers.  I’ve decided to add yet another feature to my growing blog.  At the beginning of each month I will post the upcoming horror films being released for that month and the month after (trying to keep ahead).  The list will include both theatrical and straight to DVD genre releases.  I am in no way saying the list is complete, but it’ll definitely be fucking accurate!!  And of course all release dates listed are subject to change.  But hey; I’m doing my part to pass along upcoming releases.

My goal here is to become your “go-to” blog where you can find whatever it is you’re looking for.  With this feature I’m hopefully one step closer!!

Blog Update: 30 Second Reviews

Hello everyone.  Hope everyone’s week is going well so far and that you’re all managing to find the horror(s) in everyday life!!  :-)  This blog is growing and I first wanna thank everyone for their continued support.  I have so much fucking fun writing for this blog it ain’t funny!!! I love posting new movie reviews, updating the Picture and Book of the Week columns, and generally spreading the horror.

And since I am doing all this by myself as well as holding down a demanding job, a beautiful wife, and amazing kids I sometimes can’t find the necessary time I need to devote to writing my articles.  The solution:  To come up with a new idea for the blog.  And this is what has led to 30 Second Reviews.  I’ve been noticing that my reviews are getting longer and that all of you may just wanna stop by for a few minutes and see what I thought about a certain flick.  Plus its beginning to take more precious time writing each review!!!  So with 30 Second Reviews you will get all my attitude and opinions in a shorter review.  I will still be writing longer reviews for certain movies I deem worthy, but the 30 Second Reviews will allow me to post more reviews per week and will cut down on the amount of time it takes to read them.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a longer review of The Descent to continue my Females in Horror month theme, but I’ll also start posting shorter, quicker reviews of various movies.  So stay tuned; I’m only just beginning to catch my pace with this blog.  And as always I wanna hear from you all and what you think.  How have you liked the reviews so far?  What movies am I missing?  What kind of theme months do you wanna see?  Drop in and leave me a message or email me directly at anythinghorrorScott@gmail.com

Stop by tomorrow for the first 30 Second Review, and as always …

Stay Bloody!!!

February's Theme: Females in Horror

Hello all!!  Writing the review for the terrible Hell Hath No Fury really got my juices going to watch some other “Female Revenge” flicks.  So I think I’ll make that this month’s theme (pretty cool coming up with a theme almost 2 weeks into the month, eh??). But I’m not going to limit the movies to only “female’s taking revenge.”  I’m going to review movies where the focus is on a strong female characters.

Look for a review of 2007’s Teeth, 2009’s Grace, and a few others surprises.

I wanna hear what YOUR favorite female-centric flick is.  Send me a review and I might post it (giving you full credit of course).

My friends in the North-East, stay warm, and as always

Stay Bloody.