We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (2021)

Director: Jane Schoenbrun
Starring: Anna Cobb; Michael J Rogers .USA. 1h 26m

In reasponse to a slew of online challenges, either real or unreal, our children have been exposed to the horrors of Slenderman and Momo, and challenged to chuck ice water over themselves to spread awareness or apparently the comitt suicide in the blue whale challnge or wishing for death in Randomnautica, and this is only the tip of the iceberg of this cyber phenomenan. We’ve already seen what an entity from the web can do to a young woman in Daniel Goldhaber’s Cam (2017), but this is something of a step in the “weird” direction..

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Black Phone (2022)

Director: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Ethan Hawk, Miguel Cazarez, Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Jeremy Davies USA. 1h m

Black phone does all it can to NOT be the typical horror movie, and what it achieves is something not only beautifully crafted but it will keep fans puzzling over the finer details for decades.

Initially kicking off with the troubled life of 13 year old Finney Blake (Thames) , he’s shy and spends his days avoiding bullies and amusing his adorable little sister Gwen (McGraw), their father is constantly at his wits end and often beats the kids more from anger than from being a tough parent but the family get along in their own troubled way, Finney’s best friend is the toughest kid in school, Robin a kid who’s got a mean right hand but needs Finney’s help with his math homework so they look after each other.

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Mansion of the Doomed (1976)

Director: Michael Pataki
Starring: Richard Basehart, Gloria Grahame, Trish Stewart, Lance Henriksen, Al Ferrara, Jojo D’Amore .USA. 1h 29m

Pataki was a much loved, versatile actor but during his fullfilling career he also directed 3 movies including a risque Cinderella involved a black gay “fairy” godmother who helps Cindereally meet prince charming at a blindfolded orgy, and this crazy gory mad scientst thriller.

For the most part the film rolls out as a reverse Eyes Without a Face, instead of having to replace a face, this crazed doctor is attempting to replace a girl’s eyes. Burdened with guilt the renowned LA Ophthalmologist Dr Leonard Chaney (Basehart) becomes obsessed with restoring the sight of his only daughter, who had barely survived a near fatal crash. Unable to find the willing donors or the raw materials, the Doctor’s dark basement is a gresome reminder of his now blind human experiments.

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Short Movie Roundup 22 January 2023

Holy fuck campers it’s my birthday week! cheer the fuck up and lets go Karaoke!! Or watch some short movies.. no pressure.

Don’t Feed The Cat

Director: J Zachary Thurman

A young woman has the important mission of helping out her elderly grandfather, who is currently suffering from the effects of Altzheimers. On entering his dilapidated home she brings to pack for him, while on the phone to her mother she starts her chores, watering plants packing his clothes and after finding a note in the oven, “don’t feed the cat” she does wonder where the old guys marbles might be as her mother confirms he doesn’t have a cat, until a gentle meowing comes from the basement…. Surely she has to feed the creature… whatever it might be…

The setting is one of the main characters in this tense horror movie, and it’s so massively short but wholesome, holding onto all the best features of any modern horror, it’s pretty slick and I love it.

Lustless

Director: Yousuf Majid

What could possibly go wrong when you order a beautiful escort for the night? Well a young man discovers that he’s ordered more than he can afford when his date turns up with something shiny in her bag…

The opening scene of the movie really sets the viewer up, so I don’t want to spoil it for you but it’s a brilliant cloak and dagger effet from Majid who luls his audience into a false sense of nerves when he opens with an anti red herring. The rest of the movie becomes a twisted nightmare with characters changing from victim to persecutor as the plot unfolds.

It’s strangely satisfying in the way a silent thriller can be. You’ll never quite be able to settle but this does open the movie up for the criticism of what’s really going on when the goal posts keep changing? But on the other hand there’s no way to guess what’s happening next and that in itself is a rare thing.. keep it coming.

Cropped Circles

Director: Mike Stanley

This charming ghost story has a lot of potential and creativity. I know the term homemade can anger some people but I only use it in terms of the Movie Shorts where someone has had to use their mind and natural born talent over throwing cash into special effects, but it REALLY works here. The intro reminds me of a Movie Effects or a power point being played out, the music is all the standard free stuff, but none of these factors are the magic with Mike Stanley’s unsettling movie.

The set up is around a haunted house, a museum of items that are sought out by the dead to help them pass onto somewhere bigger and better, and what follows is a collage of movie effects that really submerged the viewer into a dreamy purgatory of one man trying to find his way … somewhere.. Doors in the woods, ghostly girls and dolls wander around glitching out of our reality, his focus switches from macro ants to the dark and mysterious world around him. it’s simply brilliant, hopefully Mike is still making experimental movies like this?

Box Fort

Director: Tyler Czajkowski

Based on the r/NoSleep / Creepypasta of the same name, a couple of sisters make a box fort, but during the night they begin to wonder if there’s something alive within their paper creation…

Once the family pet begins to act weird in the cardboard tunnels one of the sisters attempts to creep in and retrieve the dedicated pet but is soon chased either by her fear of the enclosed space or by something ethereal..

I can see why the story is so popular, it’s hella creepy and touches on the whole liminal fears we create for ourselves. Lovingly recreated by Tyler Czajkowski, this whole project is such a successful story that’s bound to get under your skin.. you’ll never leave your packing boxes open again.

The Little Things

Director: Sam Kassover

When a businessman has to take refuge in a random airbnb for the night after his plans are unexpectedly changed, the most he wants from his accommodation is a good night’s sleep, instead he’s faced with a night of upset, the owner is also home for the night, and the chatterbox won’t give the man any peace, along with the noise he’s unwell and there’s just something unsettling about the entire night that keep him on edge.

Lurking deep within the basement is something that should reside in an 80’s pulpy horror movie, and that’s the charm of this character driven horror, The Little Things sits neatly somewhere in between Basketcase and The Brood! It’s a brilliant film, it unfolds the plot steadily and uses just enough practical effects to keep it interesting and grounded. The actors are really cool and it’s just fun from beginning to end.

Hopefully you enjoyed this week’s list, if there are any short movies that you can recommend please let me know.

You can find a list of all my Short Movie Roundup’s here.

My Favorite  Short movies of …. 2019 , 2020, 2021 , 2022

Backtrack (2015)

Director: Michael Petroni
Starring: Adrian Brody; Sam Neil; Bruce Spence. USA/Australia. 1h 30m

Surprisingly dull supernatural thriller starring a couple of big names, refuses to make a splash despite having the makings of a depressingly creepy horror but it’s just too long winded and lacking on many fronts which is a shame as usually the cast shine above others.

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Short Movie Roundup 08 January 2023

Terrible Things

Director : Ciarán Hickey

Set in a misty post apocalyptic landscape, a cottage becomes a safe haven for a long traveler, allowing them time to reflect, taking a trip down memory lane with a corpse, a lonely salvation, a night away from the monsters.

Hickey’s powerful thriller is highly effective and a deep dive into atmospherics, it’s the king of the world you’d expect to see if Frank Darabont’s The Mist was able to carry on spreading. it’s sad and chilling

Inmundus

Director : Reddit

This project was made for a final student piece, using Unreal Engine 4. the hyperreal and crystal clear graphics lead the way in a stylized movie that plays with aspects of size and scale. The camera follows a man on a strange journey through eras and very different landscapes rising and falling along the way focusing on a tiny moth then a metropolis. All the while the imposing modern world systems to be stifling the natural environment around it. is that the overall message of this short or is it just a consequence?

However you read it, the work is probably just an excuse to show what the student has learnt but I’m so excited that they have shared this film as for me at least it tells a vibrant story and I hope they are still being creative.

Goldilocks

Director : Blake Simon

I wasn’t quite sure where this tense sci-fi short was going, and it’s bound to keep viewers guessing. There are so many possibilities when it comes to space exploration and Blake Simon probes the darkest and lightest moments within his film.

Initially a man wakes up from some kind of hypersleep, his mission appears to be searching for another Goldilock planet. Going about his normal routine with an uplifting promise in his heart, things take a tragic turn when he realizes his communications are hours behind and there’s possibly been an a terrible event happening/ed to his loved one.

Being lost in space or at the mercy of the element in deep space is incredibly terrifying and all of those safety net free moments are touched on here. The sets look amazing and acting matches the creative nature of the movie that attempts to answer the questions arising searching for another goldilock planet.

Into the Night

Director Chris Goldade

This multifaceted short movie is worth your attention more than once. Despite it’s dark nature there’s a lot of intrigue going on in Golade’s short that gets your morality in check with it’s probing questions.A man flees from a fatal accident, he unwittingly hits a woman off her bike late at night, panic’s and heads home, but he’s crushing emotions and irreparable guilt seems to get the better of him.

There’s an insanetwist to the movie that bisects the plot, introduces “new” character and silver lines the already chilling movie with a dose of “fuck no”.

So much attention has been paid to the tiny elements that, the amplified sounds, choice of olde time music that sets this story in the then and now. The mix of instantly clear and muffled sounds, the bokeh and active angles allows Goldade to push his audience in and out of his lead’s head. With events like this it’s a director’s dream to attempt to show grief, regret and in some cases consequences, and this is achieved with grace in Into the Night, a film that will grab your attention with outstanding class.

Another Game

Directors :Stuart Ashen and Riyad Barmania

In a similar vein to Géla Babluani’s bleak and ultraviolet drama 13 Tzameti, a similar and equally devastating game is at hand in this lottery from hell. A group of fortunate or misfortunate people enter a room and await for their numbers to be called, then luck is the decider on a bloody and gruesome game that, for one player, is hard to swallow. Filmed with air of Lynch and if youre in the right frame of mind, a touch of sarcasm and black humor, but what would possess people to willingly participate in a game like this?

Hopefully you enjoyed this week’s list, if there are any short movies that you can recommend please let me know.

You can find a list of all my Short Movie Roundup’s here.

My Favorite  Short movies of …. 2019 , 2020, 2021 , 2022

After the World Ended (2015)

Director: Tony Sebastian Ukpo
Starring: Eke Chukwu. Haruka Abe. Gabby Wong, Anthony Ofoegbu .USA. 1h 30m

This subdued experimental movie seems to tell a pair of harmonious stories, set in a bleak future where space travel is everyday and our social norms are quite alien from what we understand today.

Initially an astronaut has crash lands in a tranquil field and attempts to find help but the social dynamics is unsettling to him, families seem to be “clumped” together any male plays a father, any child adapts to the family they find themselves with that day, language isn’t a barrier, it seems everyone is adapted to all human languages and it just rolls off the tongue.

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Best Short Movies 2022

After a lot of soul searching I have narrowed down my favourite shor movies reviewed last year! I missed a LOT of weeks and promise to so better this year (heard that before?) but here we go for the best of the best of my discoveries last year and all the best to any director making movies this coming year, no matter how your project turns out your work and dedication is worth it and appreciated.

Self Assembly

Bereaved parents order a new son from a toxic advert on the TV, the self assembly box is a monstrous blobfish screaming baby who had murderous intentions. Ray Sullivan’s surreal is a cross between Lynch’s Eraserhead and the iconic world, Autodale creatured by the fantastic artist James Armsby. There’s a serious unsettling feeling throughout the terrifying story that’s a strange analogy to a possible reality for some people.. just mull that over.

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Short Movie Roundup 01 January 2023

Portrait of God

Director: Dylan Clark

This tiny piece of golden cinema is the best movie I could find this week to start of 2023 with, originally released 4 months ago, it’s causing a storm in the world of shorts. A young woman is running through a thesis, a presentation about what God might look like, after showing a painting to a few subjects they describe their experience with the painting, after listening to these vivid descriptions the girl has her own “religious” experience.

There’s a pivotal point in Takashi Annô’s Anime film Dark Myth where a researcher finds a pool that will grant her everlasting life, she climbs in and returns as a hairy bug eyed monster, the lesson, out human bodies can’t go on forever so it has to transform you into a creature that “can” live forever, be careful what you wish for. There is a similar analogy playing out here, we want to see god in the naive belief that it will be a hugely positive and beautiful event but there’s the potential that it’s something so alien to us, that the event might be scary and unending. A glimpse of eternity is still an eternity right?

Clark manages to conjure up a visual nightmare that is chilling as well as deeply profound. The artistic lighting of each scene and unwillingness to set character in the center of any frame, the uneven and beautifully placed cameras really spark an emotion and give the film a natural feel. But if you really want to “get” everything about this film, much like the tricks used in other classics such as Hereditary you might need to turn the brightness up and check out for delightful extras.

Not only is it a super brave subject to approach, questioning and assuming to depict the face of god will upset others and intrigue a few more but to also make it supernatural and creepy is so gnostic and exactly what the horror community needs to work with more judging by the results of this frightful short.

Continue reading Short Movie Roundup 01 January 2023

Psychotropic Cinema and more