In order to answer one of many frequently asked questions I have made this page with the intention that I will keep it updated with my favourite short movies. For now this will be from 2009-2019 and hopefully I’ll keep a yearly list from now on.
If you’re more interested in animation then I have a few lists of my favourite Animation on 4 and stop motion shorts listed here, they pretty much are all solid favourites.
Opening credits in a short movie? I don’t think I’ve seen this before?? This short kept delivering as it proceeded through a table to rare and disgusting delicacies. plate on a plate of strange looking food is piled on a table until the table falls through to the next floor. bin the dinner continues…until they break on through to the next floor.
It’s a strange purgatory that these diners are living in, a crazed demented dinner party that drops through layers of hell, probably a metaphor for their lavish and gluttonous lifestyles, until the opening stare of the matridee (Jean Marchand) becomes the final stare it’s a brilliant creative shot movie from none other than Denis Villeneuve. is it me or does the dinner splay slightly reminiscent of the food served at the end of Salute the Jugger?
Now and again a short movie either needs to grow into a feature or a series to really maximise its potential but this short from Lee Matthews is utter perfection.
A young deaf school girl managed to mislay her phone but while waiting for her mother to collect her, a strange man in a blue van pulls up when he approaches her she runs into the woods to make a quick getaway. From there on a cat and mouse chase begins as she struggles to escape the man.
It’s a very surreal situation as the girl is deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other, so this isn’t just the average teen running for their life from s slasher, this girl is really vulnerable, but Matthews manages to really capture the dark wonderment of the forest and the desperate situation with such crystal clarity it’s hauntingly beautiful to watch and listen to, the switches between sound and deafness twined with a beautiful soundtrack really make the film whole.
while I was mesmerised by the camerawork and the taunt story I was absolutely blown away by the ending, the police become involved and there’s this punch in the gut ending after a few words from a family friend, but then something very strange happens in the woods and I need this story to continue. Mr Matthews is someone to keep an eye out for.
You can stalk him on twitter here @Lee_A_Matthews
Alfred J Hemlock
In the previews this character reminded me of a dodgy Johnny Depp fucked up on London Gin and I wasn’t far wrong, just add some Beetlejuice, and viola! . A young girl, named Emily is dumped on the way home by a jealous and pissed off boyfriend after an argument at a party, sobbing she says to herself that she wants to die.. and while heading home she chances on a comedy villain who identifies himself as Alfred J Hemlock who terrorizes her. while the matter is serious there’s a touch of League of Gentlemen in this charismatic thriller. I would like to see more of Mr Hemlock in the future, he’s brilliant running around dark alleys with a hatchet and singing strange songs while riding a tiny bicycle.. what more do you want from a horror villain. Lead man Tristan McKinnon who only seems to have made a few shorts, really can hold his own in a full length film and hopefully if Wyrmwood Chronicles of the Dead takes off I hope he gets a proper role.
Heads up you’ll need to have a subscription to Kinoscope for this but if your into surreal movies or something just that little bit different then it’s worth every penny. This dramatic and stark short movie shows the transformation from birth to adulthood of a hunter’s son born with antlers, as he ages he repeatedly has to cut down his impressive antlers, but he learns to hunt along with his father until one day he realises what he truly is and what he truly loves as the call for the wild becomes too strong. 9/10
Not to be mistaken for another short film with the same name, reviewed here . This tension filled short has a lot of merit, the cast of two manage to create a damning atmosphere when a cleaner is faced with an curious intruder, there is a good display of camera work but the sound is minimal. The ending is quite pivotal and yet hangs wide open but remains terrifically terrifying. 7/10
Oh boy! I’ve been dying for a short about conventions and aging scream queens since forever! This is absolutely perfect, it has a brilliant level of comedy and overall it’s really dark and emotive. The film follows a pseudo horror icon who is now struggling for work but makes ends meet at various conventions, I love how the actress has a OTT boxoted look and there is a particular after sex scene that involved hand sanitizer which made me cross my legs, the attention to details is superb but the ending was a tad weak but this film is filled with so much YES.
When Susurrus Stirs (UNCENSORED)
I do love it when a short film says UNCENSORED, it gives me hope for extra gore and possibly some side boob. A gentle overtone narrates the movie, which is enhanced by stop motion and all sorts of graphics, the story details a man with a very unique infection, one he’s learnt to bond with, more mentally than physically as a giant worm starts to mutate him. Originally on the pursuit to find luxury and meaning to his mundane life he gets a raw bargain. Definitely one for all those body horror fans who worship Cronenberg. anything to feed the new cycle and long live the new flesh via the warped imagination of Mr Anthony Cousins.
Sadly no sideboob but a bit of strangling fly infected cock.. whoopie!
This is definitely one of the more accomplished shorts, directed by Steve Desmond, it follows Jann who lives in an underground bunker with her family, being the youngest she’s not allowed to leave the bunker but her family head out daily to scavenge supplies in a world ravaged by deadly monsters. Slowly Jenn becomes determined to leave the bunker to face these monsters herself. The film takes a sudden turn but pretty soon once we believe there are no monsters, we find out what really defines the word. A great horror with much potential of a dystopian future either which way you read it.
There’s some great acting and brilliant cinematography in this little short with a daunting message.
Die! Sitter! Die! Rupert
This is the kinda movie I need to see more of, a brilliant short directed by Sam and Lee Boxleitner, Alison thinks she’s in for an easy night of babysitting but things get deranged when she realises the “baby” she’s looking after isn’t exactly what she has in mind. The film turns into a grotesque horror experience when Rupert is revealed and demands nappy changing and feeding or a sick game of hide and seek shall be played, where he finds Alice and buries her where no one can find her. between the blood, shite and gore, there’s a pretty imaginative horror, one that can easily knock a lot of full sized hollywood films off their top spots! I love the Rupert character a touch of Private Pile from Full Metal Jacket (at the end of the movie) and a lot of WTF going on here.
This is part of a series called Die! Sitter! Die! so I shall be seeking out more of these during my round ups.
La Peste / The Plague
This deep and mystifying short film by Guillermo Carbonell has some beautiful cinematography and churns up a lot of emotional and horror conflicts. A young woman awakes to find her elderly father in her apartment, the man seems to be suffering from Alzheimers or a similar condition but when she tries to call for help, her door is kicked in and a SWAT team that, literally run over her in an attempt to kill her somewhat disabled father but why? What could possibly be going on. The terrible conclusion is pretty horrific in this stylized horror that should easily make a full length feature and Carbonell is definitely one to look out for.
I am highly impressed by Guy Soulsby‘s little movie despite it’s meager beginning it has a huge biblical ending but all done with a very astute talent. A man is travelling rough with a young girl, there’s obviously something odd about their hike through the English countryside, and the secret society tracking them seem to have extra special powers.
There are a few familiar faces who pop up within this short movie, I live in hope that it grows into a longer feature and these characters follow on. I really adore when dark scriptures play a part in my thrillers and so much happens in this compact movie, there really is no fucking around.
If his trailer for Devil Makes Work is anything to go by, I think I might have to keep a close eye on Guy as his dark religious touch is going to taint all of his excellent work
Devil Makes Work
Looking at what I found, from the opening this is everything that I love about moving pictures, the film has a feeling like a moving series of Joel-Peter Witkins photos.
This has much more in the way of special effects then his previous piece but they are both executed just as well, each scene tells a small segment in the path to heaven and hell, all equally dark and relatively disturbing though. Scattered with demonic deformities, candles, flames and pints of blood, it’s a deeply emotive and charming little tale of art and poetry.
I indeed need more..
I’ve watched this a handful of times, and I’m happy to watch it again for the review, I can’t say that I fully absorbed the concept on the first watch I was literally blindsided by the intense visuals and amazing soundtrack devised by Flying Lotus. Eddie Alcazar has an interesting abstract talent on display in his black and white calamity. From what i can gather a girl finds pure acceptance with herself but after a while even this form of love turns to disgust when she rejects herself and struggles with ideas of gender and her own nature, thus destroying one half of her or a previous side of her which spawns a re-birthing.. but what do you make of it?
A couple drove into a massive cloud, it looks like it’s on a biblical end of the world scale, the utter darkness that surrounds them is totally frightening, but Jake doesn’t find it too scary as he pranks around, not heeding the warnings of his pregnant girlfriend. The ending of Christians Burnett’s short horror didn’t just leave me fearing the dark again but it has a really deeply depressing ending of a love affair that’s wrongfully over.
Chilling and deep…
A sullen opening sees an abandoned run down house with kids throwing eggs and bricks at the window’s but if you look a little closer it’s not all that abandoned… This incredibly terrifying short is really a mini anthology by Santiago Menghini, that seems two curious entities haunt a home, and get mingled in the private lives of a young boy and inspector.
Cutting to a more modern setting a young man is peeping at his neighbours getting strangled, the purportator dashes over to say hi. the following scene is utterly terrifying playing on our perceptions of size and mass, making the viewer feel like a child and a big scary monster is coming after them.
This is cruel and dark and inventive, something akin to the twisting realities in the Spanish hit Aterrados.
damn this film!! it starts out so charming and ends up so fucking scary! A young girl settles down to celebrate her 18th birthday but her family has a dark secret from her, it turns out that there is an heirloom they have to pass down to her.. the secret of their success. I personally don’t understand how it makes them successful but my god if I saw this when I was 17 I would have nightmares wondering if this was coming my way… who the fuck wants an old friend with that face…
This film is totally golden!! but those Sentinels.. Mr Teal Greyhavens you are seriously fucked up, well done.
What’s not to love about a darkly stylistic animated horror movie! this is indeed Macabre by name and by nature. A man stumbles from a car wreck, a dying badger was the only living thing for miles, unable to call for help and with howls coming from the forest he seeks refuge in a nearby abandoned mansion.
The use of strange angles and the mix of a few dull colours in with the primarily black and white palette gives the movie a 1920’s Art Noir feel and the creators have used their artistic licence to really emphases the thrills and chills. It plays on many types of horror, from monsters, stalking, bugs, ghosts and always the unknown!
The beauty in the movie is the ending where the imagery starts to claw its way back from the surreal and begins to enlightenment ideals about the cycle of life and the dark god Anubis begins to play a role in our main characters plight, it’s all quite wonderful.
There’s tons of character with this Spanish short which follows a young boy being put to bed by his attentive babysitter. He’s insisted that the nights books is Mr Dentonn which the babysitter soon realsies is probably not a children’s book as it starts to get incredibly graphic, but it might b e too late as it seems the door has been opened for Mr Dentonn to do his worse. The top hatted figure much like Alfred J Hemlock but without the sense of humor, the creepy monster hunt that takes up the second act is similar to Veronica vs Babadook but at times a little more terrifying, but in all the film is brilliant and has a superb ending, from inspiring director Iván Villamel.
This film opens like a chapter to a Rusty Lake game which I have to say, if you haven’t played the games, then you are a total loser and you need to go and rectify that immediately.
This movie is incredibly sophisticated, not just because of the budget involved but the concept of an alien species wanted to use one human to broker a deal to acquire one of our most precious assets. The darkly lit opulent office is a perfect setting for this intense deal and the team added in a special level of humor to cushion the blow. It’s like the opening of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy deal but with actual negotiations. Charming and brilliant all round, well done Henry and Mark Slutsky.
While I thought i understood this movie throughout the first act, it takes a sudden change which really shook me up a bit,I had to watch it a few times to really appreciate it in both its visual beauty and sentiment but I got there. The film was advertised as a journey of a group of medieval knight who are searching for an ancient tomb in which they must perform an exorcism but during their time they make up several games to pass the time, I wasn’t expecting the games to be nude but it brightened my day. What really makes this stand out is the effect and camera work, it really looks like a genuine 70’s production, not just a modern film with a bit of fake tracking. It’s so dreamy, but once you’ve settled into the idea of this being set in medieval Argentina, things take a sudden change when they drive into the sunset. But the story does continue, a very ground and stereotypes
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.