“Goodnight, Gracie” (2017): Death Climbs the Family Staircase in Discomfiting Short Film

A young girl finds herself caught between her religious beliefs and a very Earthly evil in writer/director Stellan Kendrick’s horror short Goodnight, Gracie (2017). Though less than four minutes long, the film creates a looming sense of dread and packs quite a wallop in a stunningly presented effort. Elementary school-aged Gracie (Caige Coulter) is resting in her room when she hears a commotion downstairs. Clutching her stuffed lamb and Jesus flashlight, she investigates, only to […]

“Admonition” (2017): Diabolical Presence Stalks a Dying Woman and Her Deaf Daughter

Admonition, director Alexander Mattingly’s eighth and latest short film, is an eerie work that hangs heavy with dread throughout. Low-key lighting and effective use of shadows — as well as portraying something just beyond those shadows — helps mount a macabre atmosphere, and having one of the lead characters being deaf adds a sense of confusion to the proceedings.   Adrienne King of Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part 2 fame plays a […]

“It Began Without Warning” (Fantasia, 2017): Scary Kids and Creepy Creatures Run Amok in Brazen, Breakneck-Paced Short  

Approximately five minutes’ worth of the bloodiest, creepiest horror you’re bound to see this year await you in the short film It Began Without Warning. This real-time shocker opens with what looks to be the murder of a wife by her husband with their child in danger, and then takes viewers in a whole other direction. The second short for the writing/directing team of Jessica Curtright and Santiago C. Tapia after their 2013 effort Territorial […]

“Girl #2” (Fantasia, 2017): The Slasher Isn’t the Most Dangerous Character in This Excellent Horror-Comedy Short

When, in classic slasher movie fashion, a maniac runs rampant through a sorority house bludgeoning its residents to death, viewers might think that things couldn’t get worse for the protagonists. They would be wrong, though, in the case of director David Jeffery’s incredible short film Girl #2. The short opens with Jenn (Katy Yoder) coming out of her hiding place and surveying the carnage that has taken place so far. She finds another surviving sorority […]

[Review] Pronoia (2017, Super Scary Shorts Saturday) – by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry reviews the short film Pronoia from Marevan Pictures and writer/director Nick Efteriades. The short features Stelio Savante as Jeff, Hannah Jane McMurray as Camille, and Lou Mastantuono (AKA Lou Mast) as a policeman, in an enigmatic neo-noir mystery thriller with science fiction elements. Jeff and Camille meet on a stormy night in a posh hotel, but a news report about a missing government official (Marston Allen as Lt. Griswold) alters the course of […]

“For a Good Time, Call . . .” (Fantasia 2017): Sexual Power Play Leads to Petrifying Retribution

In her latest horror short For a Good Time, Call . . ., director Izzy Lee tackles the topic of posting Internet sex tapes without the willing consent of both victims. The victim in this case makes a wish that results in a terrifying situation for the perpetrator and a nifty slice of scare fare for viewers. Alex (Sean Carmichael) sets up a hidden camera in the bedroom, unbeknownst to Alice (frequent Lee collaborator Diana […]

“Undress Me” (2017): Haunting, Metaphorical Body-Horror Short Boasts Disturbing Special Effects

Writer/director Amelia Moses tackles body horror, social anxiety, and the potential aftermaths of unsafe sex straight-on in her unnerving, disturbing short film Undress Me. Although these themes may have been explored in both feature-length and short films before, Moses makes her mark with a chilling character study featuring truly disturbing special effects, and offers food for thought regarding different interpretations of her short. College freshman Alice (Lee Marshall) seems to be a loner who is […]

“REM” (2017): A Woman Tries to Help a Stranger with a Terrible Gift in New Zealand Shocker Short

Gail Morris (writer/director April Phillips) is a security guard who discovers the chilling, but potentially world-changing, secrets of a mute homeless man in the New Zealand horror/science-fiction thriller REM. This offering packs a lot of drama and emotional weight in its running time of approximately 14 minutes. On her rounds one night, Morris discovers a vagrant man (Chris Ryan) in an abandoned building. He is surrounded by newspaper clippings and wall scrawlings about disasters. Although […]

“Alfred J Hemlock” (2017): Diabolical Charmer Seeks to Lure in a Meek Victim in Exceptional Humorous Horror Short

Australian short chiller Alfred J Hemlock is a top-notch short film that balances eerie menace with whimsical charm and a dash of dark humor. The production values are marvelous and the acting is a delight in director Edward Lyons’ latest effort. Emily (Renaye Loryman) is unceremoniously dumped — pretty much literally and figuratively — by her boyfriend Guy (Christian Charisiou) in a dark alley after an argument about how she behaved in front of his […]

“Shades of Scarlet” (2017): Released Criminal and Brusque Nurse Match Wits and Wills in Dark Thriller Short

Director Wendy Keeling follows up last year’s horror comedy short The Unconventional Gourmet, reviewed here, with a dramatic thriller about a convicted rapist who is freed from prison on a technicality, and the nurse he meets in a bar on his first day of freedom. While Shades of Scarlet has a few darkly humorous moments, its main tone is deadly serious. Wynn Reichert (The Unconventional Gourmet, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Beast in the Cave) plays Bob Tribble, […]

“The Mothman of Point Pleasant” (2017): Captivating Documentary Captures Odd Paranormal History of West Virginia Town

The independent filmmakers behind the Small Town Monsters documentary series have released the fourth offering in their catalog, an intriguing look at the 1966–1967 sightings of what is now one of America’s most famous cryptozoological legends. The Mothman of Point Pleasant takes a well-researched, wonderfully presented look at the incidents that surrounded Point Pleasant, West Virginia and nearby environs during that time, from sightings of UFOs and mysterious beings to the tragic 1967 Silver Bridge […]

“Vexed” (2016): A Quiet Night In Becomes a Terrifying Ordeal  

An evening that begins with watching a horror video at home turns into a terrifying, surreal night for a young couple in Glass Cabin Films’ short film Vexed. The effort also has some sly humor to it, making for a fun, appealing watch. Leah (Nosheen Phoenix) is a horror-film aficionado who can’t understand her boyfriend Nick’s (Baker Chase Powell) apathy toward fright fare. He dismisses horror movies as all being predictable retreads of the same […]

“When Susurrus Stirs” (2016): Top-Notch Gore Effects Take Center Stage in Disturbing Body Horror Short

How much viewers might enjoy the short film When Susurrus Stirs depends on their tolerance level for body horror. The film is filled with goopy, gloppy, gore effects but definitely has more going for it than just spectacular practical effects work. In director Anthony Cousins’ short, a nameless man (Nathan Tymoshuk) becomes the host to a parasitic creature with plans to take over much more real estate than just the man’s body. Trying not to […]

“Shallow Water” (2017): Exhilarating Performance and Cool Creatures Highlight Aquatic Monster Tale

Writer/director/producer Sandy Collora takes viewers on a 17-minute thrill ride with his creature-feature short Shallow Water. He has crafted a film so suspenseful that every hole in a door, light through a crack in a wall, and footstep in the forest makes you hold your breath in anticipation, and the creature design is quite impressive, as well. The approach is simple but effective, and a whole lot of fun. Sandy Collora is a creature designer […]

“Death Metal” (2016): Carnage and Comedy Riff Together Fiercely

Guitar riffage leads to blood spillage in writer/director Chris McInroy’s horror-comedy short Death Metal, which truly lives up to its title. This film boasts enough blood and gore in its five-minute running time to fill the average feature-length film but it offers more than that, as well. Lars (Kirk Johnson in a ridiculously funny wig) is a budding heavy metal guitarist who should have practiced a lot more than he did before trying to busk […]