Click “view original” in the lower left to read Dennis Harvey’s entire review. You can check out the rather bloody, very intense trailer for Shrew’s Nest (original Spanish title: Musarañas) below…
OK, so it’s Monday and we’re feeling a little low on energy here, but hey, you don’t have to be at the top of your game either before you take our newest poll! We inserted a few of our favorites here in this piece in case you hadn’t seen them yet, or wanted to confirm they still scared the living shit out of you before you voted (and yep, you can pick two runners-up for a total of three picks). Scroll down if you want to skip the preamble and go directly to vote.
See, we post a lot of scary short movies online. Sometimes–like this past weekend– we sit through literally dozens of ’em on the laptop looking for a gem worth posting. We do have a few sure things we’re still saving for a rainy day, but these days, we’ve already posted most of the scariest made (so far). It seems like whenever we’re combing the net and watching ten or more at a time, it’s always after midnight, which may be why we stopped having “Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week” be a regular feature for a while back there, but that’s beside the point.
What do we look for before deciding to post? A good jump scare–or two–is usually a sure thing, as long as it’s earned and not a cheap, lazy one. “Lights Out” sure has that:
A fridge scare (AKA a chilling and/or horrifying reveal), done well is also a sure bet. Here’s an example of the latter, in the very short, simple, but hair-raisingly effective “Mockingbird” (from Drew Daywalt):
A spooky, especially creepy atmosphere is a big plus, as in Bloody Cut’s “Who’s There?” Film Contest Grand Prize Winner “Play Time” (which isn’t exactly a slow-burn, but you’ll get the idea):
Of course, some really disturbing make-up effects and gore aren’t required (none of the films listed so far really have much blood), and gore for the sake of gore isn’t scary, but here’s an example of it working well in the exorcism shocker “Deus Irae”.
Then you get a film that has all of the above (except the gore) but you don’t really break down intellectually what aspects scare you until after you’ve calmed down from watching it (whenever the hell THAT is), because you’re too busy for anything besides being fucking terrified. If we had to pick just one “Scariest Short Film We’ve Ever Seen,” it’d be the absolute nightmare that is Mama, below.
We know you’ve seen others, so we listed the ones here that got the most positive feedback and left a space for a write-in. Tell us, we’re seriously curious! Here we go.
If you feel like watching a bunch more, go to the “category cloud” on the sidebar and pick “Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week”. “Horror Short Films” will work too. Here’s a few links to ones we highly recommend if you missed them the first time around: Bloody Cut’s gothic folktale of the “Suckablood,” and their gory masterpiece “Don’t Move” that gives you another reason who you should never even be in the same house as a Ouija Board, let alone play with one. There’s also two other Drew Daywalt films that we watched in the middle of the night and instantly regretted our decision; “Spoon”, starring Christa Campbell showing some acting chops, and “Cleansed,” which we regretted watching after dark less than a minute in. Actually, anything we’ve posted associated with Bloody Cuts UK or The Daywalt Fear Factory could give you nightmares…
So, as you may know, The Babadook, the debut feature from talented Aussie film-maker Jennifer Kent, is one of the most highly anticipated upcoming horror releases of the year. When it was screened at Sundance, audiences and critics alike knew they’d just seen something unique, special …and pretty goddamned frightening.
Monster, the short film that was basically the seed of The Babadook, won several awards –the full list is here— at short film festivals. We’ve heard that the tone and theme of Monster are very similar to the upcoming feature-length film, and though we haven’t seen Babadook, we have seen enough clips and trailers to be able to confirm that. It has a very spooky, gothic, fairy-tale tone (kind of in the same way the deeply frightening 2013 film Mama did, though we’re pretty sure–no offense, Mr. Babadook– Mama is the one that will forever haunt our nightmares), and to us, the visuals evoke early Tim Burton a little.
So if you’re as amped-up about Babadook as we are–it’s on our list of Ten Most Anticipated Horror Films for the last half of 2014*– turn out the lights, put on your headphones, and take a gander at Jennifer Ken’s “Monster” below. The only version on You Tube has Russian subtitles, but since there is very little dialogue, it shouldn’t distract you. If you MUST see it without subtitles, you can; here’s a link to the short film on Vimeo.
Monster was screened at over 40 festivals worldwide, including Telluride Film Festival, Montreal, Slamdance, SXSW, Aspen Shortsfest, Palm Springs, Karlovy Vary and Sydney Film Festival. We have yet to see a bad review of it (or Babadook, for that matter). The short film was also included in the Kickstarter campaign; of The Babadook’s modest budget, $30,071 was raised via Kickstarter. Most of the funds raised from Kickstarter were channelled toward the art department (source: IMDB).
While we’re at it, here’s the latest, full-length trailer for The Babadook. It’s clear they’re keeping the atmosphere –and the scares– from the short you just saw.
The movie will have its UK debut in the upcoming Film4 FrightFest in London, and this is the official description:
*We split that article up into two parts; part 2 is still pending and Babadook will be on that upcoming half.