Category Archives: Shorts

Reviews, and insights into the shorter movies that are often forgotten. These may only be a few minutes long but provide fascinating raw independent talent, from the directors of tomorrow. low budget and surreal imagination is the key to a lot of the films, thought provoking and haunting.

Classic animation (on 4)  stop motion and WTF shorts Vol.1

After reading this title, I believe a  short Introduction is an well growing up in the 90s I was rudely introduced to stop motion and bizarre animated shorts through the Channel animation on 4. Obviously as a child and young teenager I’ve seen lots of animated films series and feature length films, but nothing could quite prepare me for the onslaught of dark mechanical don’t like creatures from the insipid creative minds of the Quay brothers Paul Berry’s and the claustrophobic social construct  of Phil Mulloy.

While it frightened and unnerved me it did also,  open my eyes to unlimited dreamscapes and nightmares!? I would sit up late at night transfixed to the mirage of movement and curious situations which eventually started to warp my art, thinking, and most facets of my life. I suppose it was truly influential, but it’s take me this long to get back into that niech groove  and present my all time favourite classic animations, mostly from Animation on 4, stop motion shorts and everything else that fits in between.

Continue reading Classic animation (on 4)  stop motion and WTF shorts Vol.1

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8 Post Apocalyptic Shorts

The Last Man (2015)?

Written and Directed by Gavin Rothery – Starring :  Richard D Glover
This short film stars Richard D Glover who usually appears on Ben Wheatley productions, we follow his solitary struggle as he navigates a barren burnt wasteland in search for survivors, hints at a war between two groups is evident from the propaganda littering the derelict buildings but at this point he’d be happy to just meet anyone. From time to time we hear a radio broadcast asking for people to respond but our silent hero has no means,  apart from this the film is almost silent.

Glover is a pretty decent actor so his contributions really help but the detail and effort that went into the production of the film and those desolate backdrops is pretty stunning. It’s certainly nothing new but it’s clear to see that this is someone’s pride and joy and a lot of effort had gone into it.

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3 Short DON’T Horror films

Often in horror movies there is some kind of  instruction, like Don’t go into the house (1979) and in the case of Nightmare of Elm Street (1984) Don’t ever sleep again..

So here are 3 short horror films with some more rules on what you shouldn’t do.

DON’T LOOK AWAY

This is quite a compelling short movie which captured my imagination, a teenage girl is being teased by her brother, when she noticed a man standing outside her house, he’s in a disheveled suit with a bag and chains over his head, her father warns her not to look away and that he’s on his way to help her. Not really taking the advice she asks her brother to watch the creature while she locks the doors, as her brother is a massive douche but on returning she can no longer see the man but her brother still can, where has HER spectre gone? What’s going on?? Hopefully daddy is on his way to rescue these lovelies soon.

For a short movie it’s made well and the acting is fairly natural, the concept of this ghoul like character who reminded me of something that could have cropped up in Thirteen Ghosts (1960/2001). It has a great urban legend feel to it and with some working I reckon this could make a decent horror.. I think I just want to know how this creature came about really..

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06 (Creepy) Stop Motion Short Films

01.You Could Sunbathe In This Storm

D: Alice Dunseath

A deep exploration os you and i and we and us. Using the poem The Old Men Admiring Themselves In The Water – Poem by William Butler Yeats. The film is a very unique blend of stop motion, mostly made from what looks like clay objects rather than a softer molding material, and at one point it turns into a crystal growing project. It’s touching and emotive.

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Pork Chop Pictures

 

While looking up details on Pete Postlewaite I found out that his son had featured in a short film, called Tea for Two, I chanced on a trailer video which lead me to PorkChopPictures YouTube channel, and it’s actually quite brilliant, so many imaginative and well made films. Most of them are pretty old and the website is “Coming Soon”  https://www.porkchoppictures.com/ and I hope they do come back ASAP as we need more of this wholesome stuff.

For starters, here’s the trailer..

… and now for the rest.. Continue reading Pork Chop Pictures

3 Horror Shorts – Moonlight Man – The Jester and Don’t Look

A trio of quick scares to check out on the tube…

The Moonlight Man – Short Horror Film by Danny Donahue

Whenever I see Donahue’s name appear on a short film I often queue it and wait till morning to watch it. He’s a constant source of amazingly scary horror shorts and behind Vermin, Grin and the Whisperer. This story is tells of a woman trying to get home safe but is unfortunate enough to run into the Moonlight Man.. yet another terrifying character from the master of fear, although the first time he appears he does remind me of the Babadook7/10

 

The Jester | A Short Horror Film

I’m amazed more films aren’t set in New Orleans around Halloween, as it seems to be the perfect setting and has an remarkable atmosphere. So a jester appears in the street offering a free card trick to a guy on this way to work.. The trick is great but what to come next is disturbing and horrific. The intro is a little dodgy and the sound isn’t that great but once it gets going the film is robust with dark ideas and imagery. 7/10

DONT LOOK – (short horror film)

Directed by Tim Windolf and starring Lennart Malcolm this short horror is very curious, a young man seeming to get ready for beddybyes is soon dealing with a nightmarish mirror in his bathroom. It’s simple and effective and I feel it could be extended into something great. 8/10

Pelts (2006)

peltsMasters of Horror Collection.
Director : Dario Argento.
Starring: John Saxon, Meatloaf. USA.

Not quite sure where to put this, it’s too long to be a short but not quite a movie either but it was excellent to watch so here goes a quick flick review.

You’ll have to excuse me as I don’t watch television so when I find me series randomly on DVD I kind of go through the missing one movies.

Pelts is a twisted gore episode in the masters of horror collection from Dario Argento. Not necessarily a horror but a thrilling bone crunching, flesh tearing fiesta, starting Meatloaf as a pervy fur trader who is infatuated with a stripper and gets more than he bargained for when he’s offered a set of perfect pelts.

Of course there is a snag.

It’s a brilliant story about well, a set of haunted pelts that eventually get turned into a coat,  killing anyone who comes into contact with it along the manufacturing process and for the most part it’s not a horror but just out to gross and disgust it’s audience, which isn’t a problem at all. Meatloaf is excellent in the lead of a pretty dire cast apart from John Saxon who pretty much starts this ball of terror rolling by trespassing and killing the mystical raccoon’s (pine lights), in the first place, and boy does he have a cute technique “You gotta stamp on their necks”!?!

It’s been ages since I’ve watched any of the masters of horror minis and they do seem to be the perfect length for a horror,  without too much sentimental gumph to fatten it out into a full length feature. It takes forever to warm up and there is a heavy dose of porny scenes but it makes up for that in the later half with tons of gore and nastiness.

Argento’s earlier works are legendary but i lost a lot of respect for his more modern works but this does redeem a little bit of faith that he hasn’t completely lost it, the tension and mystery has gone but this is very watchable if you don’t mind the smut.

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Rating 4/10

4 Horror Shorts – Phil-a-del-phi-a, Skypemare, Amy’s Torch and Tea Time

Phil-a-del-phi-a
Director : Broadway
Starring : Chase Ramsey, JJ Shurbet. USA. 4m 50s

Quite a phenomenal short movie, which encompasses a lot of ideas, almost too simple for it’s own good I think a lot of people will miss how brilliant it is. A couple of brothers are travelling across country after a sort of interdimensional apocalypse, any loud noises results in people being snatched by invisible beings, the brother have lost their family and are travelling as silently as possible, until one simple and innocent mistake bring a sudden doom. It’s shocking and the narration is heartfelt. There is a lot of great acting from both young men, and some intelligent camera work, which makes up for the lack of effects, and this is a prime example of how to avoid effects, sticking with a good story is enough. There is a short piece after this finale which really brings home the melancholia, the young boy is an old man now and still lives in hope that his loved ones will return. 6/10

Tea Time (2009)
Duration 3.19

This short is more disturbing than most I’ve seen, without trying to chuck in millions of jump scares this is way more psychological and includes simple but uncommonly effective camera effects. An elderly woman starts to make tea for herself and her husband. During the daily ritual of tea making a dark story starts to unfold. This murderous old dear has only gone and slaughtered gramps and pus pus..the ghosts do start to haunt her and a mental break down seems to be shaken off as she gets to work cleaning up her “mess”. Filmed in sequence and with one take each, this short film was made on a single Super-8 cartridge. It looks like a home video and has an abnormal atmosphere about it, there is also a dead cat under the sink and that pleases me muchly. 8/10

SKYPEMARE (2014)
Director: John Fitzpatrick
Starring : Cerina Vincent and Annika Marks. USA. 7m11s

What a load of something, this horror, thriller, black comedy isn’t quite what I was expecting. Two women talking over skype on Hallowe’en when one of them is attacked and the other is helpless!!? This is how it’s advertised but it’s quite different. The chick doing all the viewing, does try to help her friend, by calling the police 3 times, as she doesn’t know her best friend’s address (whatever), all this time the killer is sending her gory photos of his handiwork on her besties, then the killer reveals that the friends phone showing her address, she grabs a knife, to protect herself (after emptying the knife block and checking the dishwasher?? Who has time for this) and then makes a slapstick error. It’s sardined with errors and cliches but I guess you have to take the bad with the good right, it’s no Unfriended (2015) but that wasn’t actually all that good either.. It was just waaaay too slow to pick up and the acting is pathetic, maybe it’s supposed to be a comedy?? 3/10

Amy’s Torch
Created by : Gary Mellor and Ben Wilkinson

This was recommended after the long lasting effects that Lights Out was keeping me up at night, it’s not as scary but it does run along a similar pattern, in hindsight though this is way more violent. A young girl called Amy has a torch that keeps away the monsters at night, but one night the battery runs out. There’s a scream in the night, her mother comes to the rescue, poor innocent Amy is pointing under the bed, her mother goes to check and.. RAH scary monster. It has this soft hazy fairytale beginning and it’s only downside is that it doesn’t really have any build up but it’s got a semi decent jump scare. 4/10

3 Horror Shorts, Laugh, Grin and Vienna waits for you

Laugh (2015)
Director: Kantorn Chantorn
Starring Vorasit Tatrivijid, Thitika Phongcharndech. Thailand?. 2m 53s

I initially found this while reviewing Hi  and The Passenger and should have made it a triple bill then but failed to do so. It’s quite funny watching a horror movie on youtube that is a guy watching a movie on youtube. Basically man along at home watching TV and laughing along, hears a woman laugh with him, but he’s home alone. It’s a little creepy but it made less so buy the really loud and constant atmospheric music, cut that down and allow the laugh to actually be scary and it might be more effective. 4/10 Continue reading 3 Horror Shorts, Laugh, Grin and Vienna waits for you