“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 […]

[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, […]

“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 […]

“The Fisherman’s Wife” (2016): Creepy Fun Makes This Seaside Shocker a Delight

  All Becky (Cynthia Granville) wants to do is finalize divorce papers with her husband Frank (Stuart Rudin) in director Ben Leonberg’s short film The Fisherman’s Wife (2016), but things definitely won’t go as easily as she had hoped. As a matter of fact, she’ll be fighting for her life rather than alimony by the end of the evening. Ben Leonberg directs with confidence and skill with different tones as The Fisherman’s Wife goes from […]

“Home Education” (2016): A Father’s Deteriorating Corpse Leads to Life Lessons for His Daughter

  London filmmaker Andrea Niada’s latest short Home Education (United Kingdom, 2016) is a brilliant, mesmerizing entry into my current favorite cinematic subgenre, “But is it horror?” films. It combines discomfiting images, a dark and dry wit, simmering tension, and stylish aesthetics, and the result is a 24-minute tragicomic excursion into a young woman’s increasingly bizarre sheltered existence. Rachel (Kate Reed) is homeschooled by her mother Carol (Jemma Churchill), who has some unorthodox ideas about […]

“The Madame in Black” (2017): Siblings Dabble with Sinister Urban Legend

The Madame in Black (AKA Svarta Madam), the latest short from Jarno Lee Vincensius (Darkness Falls, 2016), is another fine effort showing that the Swedish filmmaker is a talent to watch. In this short, he uses an urban legend as his basis for an eerie tale of adult siblings caught up in circumstances that they set off as children. When I say that the short is from Jarno Lee Vincensius, I mean that in the […]

“The Fee” ( “La Cuota,” 2015): Deadly Menace Rules Over Argentinian Apartment Building

A new tenant in apartment complex finds himself suddenly drawn into a nightmare world of conspiracy and paranoia in the horror–comedy short film The Fee (La Cuota). Director Juan Falco serves up an entertaining slice of foreign fear fare with this Argentinian effort. All Marcos (Juan Denari, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Juan Falco) wants to do is goof around on his computer a bit and get a little high, but his girlfriend has […]

“The Room at the Top of the Stairs” (2010): Loner Struggles for Identity with Someone No Longer There

Though the Australian slow-burn gothic thriller The Room at the Top of the Stairs is  a 2010 effort, the short film is making big waves at the moment with its recent addition to the Shudder online library. Briony Kidd, director of the Stranger with My Face International Film Festival (based in Hobart, Tasmania) helms this stylish, unnerving psychological drama. Fiannah de Rue stars as The Girl, an introverted young art student who is moving into […]