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 […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] The Moogai (SXSW Online 2021): Child-Stealing Supernatural Entity Terrifies an Indigenous Couple in Eerie Australian Horror Short

Australian short film The Moogai won this year’s SXSW Jury Prize in the Midnight Short section, and for good reason. Writer/director Jon Bell’s harrowing short film is rich in spine-tingling atmosphere, with a gripping, meaningful story and solid performances. Sarah (Shari Sebbens) and Fergus (Meyne Watt) have a newborn baby, and Sarah begins seeing haunting […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Alien Abduction (MidWest WeirdFest): Experimental Short Film Takes Unique Approach Regarding an Encounter with Extraterrestrials

No matter the number of extraterrestrial contact documentaries you have watched in the past, the chances are good that you have never seen one quite like the short film Alien Abduction (2021). It hovers somewhere in the planes of the experimental, pop art, and the outré. AV Super Sunshine and Philomena, members of the Wisconsin […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] The Thing That Ate the Birds (SXSW Online 2021): U.K. Horror Short Combines Creature Feature and the Drama of a Crumbling Marriage

The tension between Abel (Eoin Slattery) and his wife Grace (Rebecca Palmer) is palpable, but their strained relationship takes a back seat when the titular creature comes calling in the U.K. horror short The Thing That Ate the Birds. It’s obvious from their terse interactions that the couple has had problems for a long time, […]

Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] THE RELIC (MidWest WeirdFest): Superb Lovecraftian Creature Feature Short Flies at a Breakneck Pace

Writer/director J.M. Logan’s horror short The Relic starts pretty much just before where the climax of a feature film would be kicking in, dropping viewers in on a highly tense, dizzying situation. The short builds from there into a grand, breathtaking climax. Mind-bending visuals, solid performances from its ensemble cast, and suspenseful direction highlight this […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Your Monster (Final Girls Berlin Film Festival): An Ailing Woman Finds Support from an Unlikely Place

Writer/director Caroline Lindy’s horror comedy Your Monster is a sharp, sweet short film that explores relationships with lovers and friends — while wryly commenting on social topics such as gender neutrality — through the eyes and mindset of a young woman and the monster that has lived in her bedroom closet since she was a […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Bedtime Story (Another Hole in the Head Film Festival): Spanish Horror Short Sees a Family Haunted by the Possibility of a Witch Neighbor

Two young brothers drive their mother crazy in Bedtime Story (El Cuento), a Spanish horror short from cowriters/codirectors Lucas Paulino and Ángel Torres, but that’s nothing compared with what the night ahead holds for the trio. This atmospheric slice of supernatural fear fare is gripping from the beginning, and boasts an eerie, unsettling atmosphere of […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Circle of Stone (Another Hole in the Head Online Film Festival): Fae Folk Prove Deadly in Riveting Action-Horror Short

Legendary creatures of the distant past clash with modern-day cops in writer/director Mark Andrews’ Circle of Stone, a superb action-horror short. From its eerie premise to its gorgeous look and the terrific job from its cast, the short delivers plenty of thrills and gory goods. Deputy Dan (Vic Mignogna) is on his rural rounds when […]