For this night of spooks & scares, here are some horrific short films to help set the mood.
The Maiden (2016)
Written & Directed by Michael Chaves
Lots of this short reminds me of American Horror Story: Murder House, one of the best seasons of that series. We have a house that contains a ghostly woman whose spirit is attached to a necklace. The ghostly woman also seems to use the jewelry as a sort of lure. Our protagonist is a real estate agent learning about her new property and trying her best to hide its dark secrets, so she can secure a buyer.
Written by Sissel Dalsgaard Thomsen
Directed by Heidrik á Heygum
This Danish flick follows a woman who is a live-in nurse to an invalid. Something from the woman’s past has followed her to the remote Faroe Islands, a dark secret slowly revealed to the audience through flashbacks. This is some excellent psychological horror that knows how to use the camera to tell a heartbreaking and horrifying story.
Written & Directed by Santiago Menghini
Intruders is like a short film showcase inside this showcase as it is composed of three separate stories. There are some thematic connections between them, but they all feature great mood-setting in such a short amount of time. Light is used incredibly effectively in the first and last pieces, letting street lights and camera flashes reveal only what the director wants us to see for a short bit. The middle segment spotlights the speed of horror, a series of quick images that show an unstoppable force coming and a protagonist who can’t do anything about it.
Autumn Harvest (2014)
Written by Fredrik S. Hana & Marius K. Lunde
Directed by Fredrik S. Hana
The slow reveal of our main character’s profession is pitch-perfect. We get our point of view from someone who typically isn’t front and center in a horror tale. But this entire highly emotionally and upsetting short is told devoid of a single line of dialogue. All we have is what the camera chooses to show, the performance of the actors, and an occasional scream.
Written & Directed by Tim Egan
Curve is my favorite of all of these short because it evokes the sentient cosmic evil of Lovecraft without having to be on the nose about it. The setting is an unidentifiable place, on the edge of consuming darkness. This is a circle of Hell, and our main character is given just enough hope to damn her. The director knows just how to ratchet up the tension until it becomes unbearable.