“The Chute” (Shriekfest 2016): Horror Begins at Home in Startling Short Film


Something as simple as tossing clothes down a laundry chute into the basement becomes a terrifying experience for a troubled mother in director Aidan Weaver’s microshort horror film The Chute. The short packs a good deal of dread and fright into its approximately three minutes of running time.

Jennifer Trudrung stars as a mother who seems to be simply going through a usual household routine of preparing laundry, but The Chute provides subtle clues with seemingly everyday objects that build to an alarming scenario. Trudrung’s real-life daughter Penny Munroe is also featured in the short as her character’s daughter. Going any further into detail would mean giving away spoilers, which I will avoid because readers can watch the short on Trudrung’s official website (see link below).

Director, cinematographer, and editor Aidan Weaver captures star, screenwriter, and producer Jennifer Trudrung in action in this behind-the-scenes still from The Chute.

Besides starring, Jennifer Trudrung also wrote the screenplay and served as producer. This is the third horror short this year in which she has served in all three roles, starting out writing merely last year. Her daughter Penny Munroe has also appeared with her in previous spooky shorts Closet and Reflection. Trudrung has appeared in the film Goosebumps and the TV series The Vampire Diaries. In The Chute, she gives an impressive turn as a woman who must bravely confront something that has just suddenly startled her, but is a problem that has obviously been building for some time.

Jennifer Trudrung’s screenplay gives viewers much to think about despite its brevity. Director, editor, and cinematographer Aidan Weaver gives the short immediacy and intimacy with his handheld camerawork and a variety of interesting shots and angles.

The Chute is currently on the film festival circuit but readers can view the short online at  at http://www.jennifertrudrung.com/the-chute. Trudrung’s site has information and images from her previous  short films and from other work she has done, as well.

The Chute: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)



Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.