Short Movie Roundup 05 February 2023

A Monster in the House

Director: Dustin Weible

Childhood trauma is something that generally lives with people their whole lives, it can shape them and at times destroys them, but when a brother and sister are reunited at their family home, they being to realize the monster the bother would sketch wasn’t a suppressed memory of their fathers dark deeds but indeed a real monster that has been waiting for them all these years.

It’s quite surreal just how much action and terror Dustin has managed to pack into this tiny movie, the threat, once identified, is pretty real and like some folklore terminator this creature is totally relentless.

Laura Hasn’t Slept – AKA Smile

Director: Parker Finn

In short this is the original short movie that the Smile (2022) is based on, if like me you’ve not seen the film yet, I hope this is a treat, if you’re kinda watching it in retrospect then I hope you can glimpse some of the truly horrific ideas behind the new scare phenomena. This is a brilliant example as to why I love to keep an eye on these shorts, as the true originality, un-touched by the big greasy corporate hands of Hollywood really shines through.. I’d wager the feature length won’t cut as deep as this nightmarish thriller.

Sosie Bacon attends a therapy session to discover all in her life isn’t what it seems, the demonic-esque entity that stalks her sleep might just have more influence over her waking life and its ability to know her innermost thoughts doesn’t leave the poor girl much wriggle room to ever escape.

Return to Sender

Director: Russell Goldman

Customer service, missing parcels and mistaken identity are the crux of the lead in this terribly relatable short movie. Initially Julia is having minor issues, she orders a few items for her new home but the wrong item turns up but this is the least of her problems… Slowly things build in Goldmans movie to epic proportions in what seems to be called Brushing, an online scam where people get random items posted to write reviews for verified items.. but it runs deeper… as the attacks and products become more personal, is Julia having an mental episode or is she the victim of some insane cyber stalking?

Beautifully filmed using lots of great camera angles to highlight the claustrophobic world that Julis is now entangled in, the lead, Allison Tolman is a supreme actress, allowing this inconceivable plot to be pulled out and toy with so much believability, this is a wild blend of Pacific Heights/Amazon Customer Care and My Little Eye.

Crowd Pleaser

Director: Jamie Si

Being one of the longer shorts, around 30 minutes, Jamie’s Si manages to fit quite a lot in, but I have to point out how similar the movie is to another amazing short Coming to Light by Hector Bell, it’s in no way a copy but plays around with very similar themes, so check that out here,

Now that’s clear, let’s get into this mini epic! The film follows the life of a young student attempting to enjoy the most of her flatshare life but despite her best efforts she still finds herself alone with her demons, quite literally…

There’s plenty of room to develop characters and for Si to toy with the audience’s perception as the dark entities’ intentions come into full focus. The acting is a touch student grade but it’s not bad, in fact at times you can see the cast were in fact enjoying themselves, which is wholesome!

Highlighting issues of mental health and personifying emotions isn’t easy but not only has Jamie Si managed to twist that narrative he’s added a quirky twist in the end… or is it a new beginning, a part 2 is essential, I hope to see more from Si in the future.

The Wormwood Star

Director: Curtis Harrington

Experimental occult mischief is the key ingredient in this explosive movie dedicated to that being known as (Margorie) Cameron, Packed with prose, invocation, art and haunting imagery this 10 minute ritual bound to film is both immersive and intriguing. Cameron is better recognised as the flame haired vixen in the Kenneth Anger movie Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954) It’s hard to categorize the movie, technically it’s a documentary and one which shows really rare items, all of the artwork is from Cameron’s own hand but she would systematically destroy each piece not long after it was finished, She swam in the same streams as Aleister Crowly and L Ron Hubbard so not an accessible everyday lass, this film could run for a year and she’d still appear a mystery.


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