Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Mudmonster [A Night of Horror]: Unexplained Mysteries Burden a Young Girl in Eerie Italian Horror Short

What’s a young girl to do when she has a mother that isn’t big on communication and interaction, a teen sister who worships H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional Old Gods, her father has recently passed away — and she begins seeing a strange, frightening creature outside her window? Writer/director O.B. De Alessi explores these questions and others […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] He Comes at Night [FilmQuest]: Eerie Canadian Short Brings Back Memories of Childhood Bedtime Fears

It must be getting increasingly difficult to make effective “monsters under the bed” and “monsters in the closet” horror shorts, with so many variations on the theme in both short-film and feature-length outings. Writer/director/editor Joseph Covello shows that it is still possible, however, in his Canadian short film He Comes at Night. Covello does this […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] You’re Dead Hélène [SLASH Film Festival]: Does This Romance Have a Ghost of a Chance?

Writer/director Michiel Blanchart’s Belgian/French short film You’re Dead Hélène (T’es morte Hélène; 2021) is a remarkable genre-blending effort that takes viewers on a ride through three different storytelling genres and a wide range of emotions.  Hélène (Lucile Vignolles) is in a complicated relationship with Maxime (Théophile Roux). She is having a hard time letting go […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Colossus [H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival]: A Man’s Quest for What Lies Beyond Damages His Life on Earth

A young fighter pilot’s encounter with an unidentified craft sets him on a life-altering quest in Colossus (2021), an outstanding science fiction/cosmic horror short from writer/director James Roe. The short film opens with an unnamed man (John Neisler) armed with a rifle protecting himself in his home from something outside — something that sounds large […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Tale of the Deaf [SLASH Film Festival]: Mesmerizing Russian Black-and-White Short Is a Gorgeous Gothic Horror

Writer/director Philipp Yuryev’s Russian short Tale of the Deaf is one of the most visually extraordinary films of this year. Shot in sumptuous black-and-white by director of photography Mikhail Kasaya, this gothic chiller is a diabolical delight. A deaf man (Russian rapper Husky) tries to entertain a tavern full of paupers with shadow play but […]

Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] TOY TERMINATOR: Man vs. Puppet in Irreverent Horror Short

Director Matt Wisniewski’s puppet horror short Toy Terminator is his follow-up to the 2019 short film Pappy’s World, and somehow it is even more irreverent and mind-boggling than its predecessor.  Pappy the puppet was a maniacal Christmas present in that earlier short, and here he makes a return as the best friend of a human […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] PEAKING [Portland Horror Film Festival]: Aural Horrors Await a Sound Recordist

Director Daniel Rands’ U.K. horror short Peaking relies heavily on sound design to get its eerie atmosphere across. It does so quite impressively, resulting in a 7-minute shocker fraught with tension. After Sound Recordist Sandy (Louisa Harris) overhears one of her colleagues making a sexist remark about her, she stays behind in the house where […]

Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Laura Hasn’t Slept [FilmQuest]: The Face of Fear Awaits a Young Woman’s Slumber

Writer/director Parker Finn’s terrific short film Laura Hasn’t Slept combines the concept from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise (along with other horror properties) of avoiding sleep so as not to confront a horrific entity with the theme of mental illness. The result is a stirring effort led by an incredible performance from Caitlin […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Hungry Joe [FilmQuest]: People and Systems Fail a Distraught Mother Whose Son Has a Voracious Appetite

I strongly recommend watching U.K. horror short Hungry Joe on an empty stomach. Codirectors/cowriters Samuel Dawe and Paul Holbrook pull no punches in their 23-minute meeting of body horror and family drama, a tale of a child’s insatiable appetite and the trouble it brings to his family. As the short film begins, Craig (Joe Sims) […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Big Wheels [Twisted Dreams Film Festival]: Long-Festering Secrets Surface in This Fine Stephen King Adaptation

Alcohol, insults, and dredging up the past rarely mix well together, and they certainly don’t in the Canadian short film Big Wheels, director Andrew Simpson’s take on a Stephen King short story. This taut thriller is a nail-biter throughout thanks to nerve-wracking atmosphere and acting-clinic–level performances. Bob (Andrew Bee) is a mechanic who is about […]

Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] The Unvisited: Short Fantasy Film Takes a Lighthearted Approach to Issues with the Elderly and Their Families

Writer/director Rebekah Fieschi’s latest short film The Unvisited is a playful fantasy exploration of growing older and being separated from immediate family. Though the short has supernatural and horror overtones, the emphasis is on the messages the film delivers rather than shudders and shocks. An aging couple (Cathy Washburn and Kathi Bairnes) live with their […]

Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Seek [FilmQuest]: Outstanding Design and Effects Highlight This Excellent Creature Feature Short

Director Aaron Morgan wrings the maximum creepy atmosphere possible in five minutes in his short film Seek.  This tale of a rest stop break gone terrifyingly wrong is also bolstered by convincing performances, terrific set design, and super creature effects. Argumentative sisters Heidi (Allisyn Snider) and Jordan (Clare Grant) are obviously on a road trip […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Changeling [FilmQuest]: A Fatigued Mother Is Plagued by an Otherworldly Terror

The cries of a baby and the slow but caring response of the child’s weary mother kick off a sense of dread in Scottish writer/director Faye Jackson’s U.K. short horror film Changeling. That sense builds ever more relentlessly during the film’s 10-minute running time, leading to a gut-wrenching climax featuring a novel approach to the […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] GOLEM [Warped Dimension Online Film Festival]: Clay Avenger from Jewish Folklore Rises Again in Effective Horror Short

In only about 4 minutes not counting credits, writer/director Ryan Cauchi’s Australian short horror film Golem spins an action-packed tale about the titular anthropomorphic clay creature from Jewish folklore while also setting the stage for a much larger story. The result is a gripping short creature feature boasting some fun monster effects. The set-up is […]

Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] The Tell Tale Heart [FilmQuest]: Poe Tale Shocks in Impressive Modern Setting

Director McClain Lindquist takes Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” and gives it a modern updating that is true to the source material but adds a new approach in his short film The Tell Tale Heart. The result is a fascinating character study of a narrator who speaks in 19th-century fashion while […]