Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Reviews of 5 Horror Shorts for August 2015

Text © Richard Gary / Indie Horror Films, 2015
Images from the Internet

Written, edited and directed by Christopher Wells
Kaleidoscope Pictures Inc.
10:35 minutes, 2014
Early morning and nothing is going right for our central character (Christopher Wells). Food has spoiled, and the apartment is in as much disarray as it seems is his emotional state. It’s not long before we know why, as he starts talking with his obviously passed wife, the titular Cynthia (Katie Issel Pitre). Meanwhile, a mysterious white faced person is peaking in on the whole she-bang (Matt Perfetuo). It’s a slow build to the finale, but worth the wait, even if you figure out what the end result is going to be for our protagonist. Wells’ acting is naturalistic and Pitre a bit wooden (well, she is a ghost or whatever, after all), but the emotion is there, and the ending is just the right measure. A well-made showcase for which Wells can be proud.


Apartment 41
Directed and produced by Veemsen Lama
Javiya Films
6:38 minutes, 2014
As this British film opens, we watch a woman (Grace Rowe) enter her new apartment and walk around. The camera follows very closely, giving a claustrophobic feel, even though the apartment itself seems quite huge. In a similar theme to the film above, there is obviously a presence there (Harriet Feeny). In a story of guilt and/or revenge, we learn the reason for the spirit being there. Or is it there? A nice, moody piece, it doesn’t feed on the fear of the audience, but gives us enough information to both be unnerved and understanding. Well lit (even the dark bits) and worked through, it’s an effective piece of short cinema. The ending is actually quite satisfactory to the story (no, I won’t give it away).

3 Doors of Horror: DELETE
Directed by Sidney Chan
Doghouse 73 Pictures
14:10, 2014
One of my favorite things is when a film can use a well-worn trope, give it a new spin, and make it exciting. Chan does all of this in a short-but-sweet horror tale based somewhat around the tendency for selfies (does anyone else find it interesting that the English word “selfie” is used in nearly all languages?). This Asian release (with subtitles) revolves around a group of four teenage girls who trespass into a mysterious and abandoned factory, and take a group selfie on a camera found in bathroom stall (?!). It’s filled with pictures of the empty bathroom, which is eventually explained. There is also, I am assuming, a cultural in-joke about a security guard, that I didn’t get, but that’s just a blip. Well and clearly filmed in HD with medium shots, and more than one scare. Extremely effective for such a short piece.  


The Babysitting
Written and directed by Jan Nanne
Bad Ass Films
9:59, 2009
Oh, those Dutch! Filmed in English, this is a cautionary tale of what happens when you let your kids watch too many horror films before they’re able to process it. Well, in theory anyway; or if they’re a tad psychotic.  Vicky (lovey and wide-eyed Nadine Stephan, who has amazingly long, cascading hair) is hired as a babysitter by a creepy mom (Angela Zandbergen) who’s last comment before heading out the door is, with eyebrows raised, “Have fun.” It’s a family Vicky hasn’t met, and doesn’t know what to expect. Neither will the viewer. Made as an entry for a short film contest (hence the English), it’s effectively creepy on a few different levels. Being (relatively) older, it’s a bit on the grainy side during the dark scenes, but the story holds up.  After the credits is a decent albeit short gag reel.


The Flying Man
Directed by Marcus Alqueres
9:20, 2013
Much like a zombie apocalypse, some are holding fast that maybe a true super man will someday arrive, much like the Samuel Jackson character from 2000’s Unbreakable, but in a case of being careful what you wish for, in this short, such a person has arrived. The question it brings, however, is whether it’s a positive or negative. This Flying Man is certainly not out of Marvel or DC, as he has no second thoughts about throwing people under trains or dropping them from dizzying heights. This is a vigilante, and the questions this film asks – be it directly or indirectly – are good ones, such as does one have the right to take the law into one’s own hands if it’s for the better good, and who is the judge of that “good”? It’s not a new question, but one that was brought up before in the slogan, “Who will watch the Watchmen?” Supposedly in the works to be made into a full length film.

BONUS (because it made me smile):


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