So October is almost over! I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the spooky treats we’ve posted on the BLOG this month. Who are we kidding though, it’s gonna be spooky all year round! With SANDMAN tearing it’s way online Halloween Night it only seemed fair that we take a look at some other great short films already out there to get us in the mood for the big day. Below is a line up of our TOP TEN favourite short horror films to watch before Halloween Night. Check them out if you dare!
REMEMBER – SANDMAN PREMIERES ONLINE 7PM. GMT ( FOR ONE WEEK ONLY)
#10 – MR CREAK (Dir. Liam Banks)
Ok, Ok we were a bit sneaky here. MR CREAK is in fact one of our own, but we promise this is the only one of the list. Somehow we have exceeded 100,000 views online, over 80,000 of which have been within the last month alone! Everyone involved is still super proud of this short and we are still blown away by all the love and support that is still pouring in for it. We placed 5th Nationally out of over 850 entries in ‘The Fear’ which was shown on BBC THREE last October. MR CREAK is currently being developed into a feature and will be the first feature length film that SuperfreakMedia will produce. When Penelope hears a noise upstairs she goes to investigate, torch in hand. Finding some of her old toys she is reunited with a terrifying figure from her childhood. Like what you see – FEEL FREE TO SUBSCRIBE
#9 – KILLER ON THE LOOSE (Dir. Michael Ballif)
I am a huge fan of Witching Season Films, the team behind this short flick. Their series revolves around Halloween night, offering a new aspect of horror with each short they release, currently as of writing this there are 3 episodes online with plenty more on the way. Through YouTube and networking online I have come to be friends with Michael and really respect him as a filmmaker. I highly recommend checking out the above short, this was their first episode and I think it truly is a great watch! Witching Season Films deserve way more subscribers and their videos deserve way more views so please show them some love,if you want to see the other shorts in the series – CHECK OUT THEIR CHANNEL
#8 – VERMIN (Dir. Danny Donahue)
It was only recently that I stumbled upon Danny’s work and his channel. He has a couple more great shorts on his YouTube account and I would highly suggest you go check them out if you fancy a quick scare. This choice was a close call between ‘Vermin’ and another of his shorts called ‘The Whisperer’. Both of which are quite similar in concept and I believe lead actress, but don’t mistake that for them being boring. Both shorts are fantastic and the ending of this one in particular left me feeling so uncomfortable. Never ever will I hang a picture again!
#7 – BEDFELLOWS (Dir. Drew Daywalt)
Number 7 is surely a ‘classic’ for horror films fans, or should I say ‘short’ horror film fans. I believe this short won a competition ran by Universal Horror Nights a few years back, or at least was definitely created as an entry and has been spooking people online ever since. This short perfectly exemplifies how a simple concept and brilliant execution can make a viewer so incredibly uncomfortable and scare them silly. Bedfellows stayed with me for a long time after the first time I saw it. Honestly I haven’t seen/rated much else that has come from the channel, but this short is one of the creepiest online so it had to be on the list.
#6 – PLAYTIME (Dir. Ryan Thompson)
I absolutely love this short! It packs so much into such a short run time and never once lets up. Quite rightfully it won the Bloody Cut’s ‘Who’s There?’ competition and has since gained a nice amount of views online. I think the VFX, acting, sound design and camerwork were spot on in this. Another reason I think I really loved this so much was that it was produced in the UK. PlayTime is one of the few UK based entries onto this list, I do feel a lot more work comes from the likes of the US but it’s always nice to see work from the UK spread all over the world and be so well recieved. I always anticipate a new short from Ryan and think he is incredibly talented. I can’t wait to see more! Please check this out, it sure won’t disappoint.
#5 – THRESHER (Dir. Mike Dahlquist/Mike Diva)
We have reached the half way mark, are you still with us? If we haven’t terrified you enough yet, don’t you worry we have some terrifying treats still to come. I love the work Mike creates, it always packs a nostalgic punch and is always highly entertaining. Mike is an incredibly versatile filmmaker and it was a real treat to get to see him tackle horror with ‘THRESHER’. The short itself was created out of a programme set up by Legendary Pictures and YouTube Studio’s to coincide with the release of ‘Crimson Peak’ by Guillermo Del Toro. At YouTube spaces all over the world sets were built that were right out of the film. Mike perfectly utilises the sets created and from the shorts I have seen this is by far the strongest to have come out of the project. I didn’t however think that the sets outweighed any other aspects of the production, performances, camera work and VFX were all on point and it genuinely scared me in places. I am a huge fan of H.P.Lovecraft so it was nice to see some of his ideas brought to life with a contemporary twist.
#4 – LIGHTS OUT (Dir. David Sandberg)
Another classic on the ‘Short Film’ circuit. Similarly to ‘PlayTime’ seen earlier in our countdown this short was created as an entry in Bloody Cut’s ‘Who’s There?’ Challenge. Although it didn’t win outright, the film went viral and is now a major motion picture. Having seen the feature length film I was left a little disappointed as it sure had a lot to live up to considering how effective the short film was. With that being said it is a hugely inspiring story for a filmmaker like myself, all it takes is for a video to go viral and get into the right hands for it get developed in Hollywood (that might be of course simplifying things ever so slightly). The concept is genius and will surely be emulated in other shorts and even features for years to come I am sure. If you have been living under a rock and somehow haven’t checked it out yet, please do and keep on the lights!
#3 – THE SMILING MAN (Dir. A.J. Briones)
Now the fight between 2nd and 3rd place was incredibly close but I absolutely love this short! Only having recently been released it has had a great response online and I have seen it shared numerous times on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The concept is simple but incredibly effective. I always think having kids in a horror flick just adds to the horror as I think a lot of our fears are rooted in our childhood and I will just say what this poor girl goes through in this short film is sure to leave her devestated for the rest of her life, that is if she survives. What I really love about this short is the fact it could be read in two ways. The Smiling Man that is mentioned in the title could be a supernatural entity/figment of the girls imagination or simply a derranged psychopath. The fact that it is never clarified is even scarier. Whilst I love a good ghost story, I think there are some very ‘real’ things in the ‘real’ world that are far, far scarier.
#2 – THE BIRCH (Dir. Ben Franklin & Anthony Melton)
The Birch is another great horror short fresh on the horror scene. Comissioned by CRYPT TV it was created by the Brilliant minds behind BLOODY CUTS FILMS. I am a huge fan of their work and again it is so great to see a bunch of UK based filmmakers kicking ass in the Short Horror Film Arena. The amount of suspense, mythology and the world itself that is established in just over 4 minutes is remarkable. I absolutely love the short and really hope it gets developed further because there is definitely a much bigger story that could be told around the character of The Birch. I can’t wait to see what is next for the BLOODY CUTS guys. This short is perfect to watch, especially at this time of year when the trees are starting to lose their leaves and the mist is creeping in on those foggy mornings. Check out more from the BLOODY CUTS CREW
#1 – THE THING IN THE APARTMENT (Dir. John Ross)
IMPORTANT: Above is just the trailer for the short – to check it out in FULL, click the link below!
WATCH THE ORIGINAL HERE – https://vimeo.com/129756191
Here we are, we’ve reached the number one spot and boy is this short good! It is extremely rare that a short or even a feature I watch scares me as much as this one did. I stumbled upon this beauty by chance and honestly have found myself revisiting it so much since. Like the guys behind ‘The Birch’ John has been snapped up by CRYPT TV and is now directing content for them. To be honest I don’t blame them, the film looks incredibly polished and was perfect on every level. The creature design is so scary, admittedly similar to things we have seen before but it really gave me chills. In one particular sequence, involving the light of a mobile phone I jumped so much, I was so tense. Please, please, please, if you watch a film on this list, make it this one! It really puts the rest of us to shame, I can only help that SANDMAN when it is released has a similar effect on some of it’s viewers because ‘The Thing in the Apartment’ scared me silly! I can’t wait to see what is next from John Ross and again, I really hope this gets developed into a much bigger story because it has such potential.
So there we have it, there was my countdown of my TOP 10 HORROR SHORT FILMS online at the moment for your viewing pleasure as Halloween approaches. I hope you enjoyed them and was just as terrified watching some of the spooky entries. Keep checking back on the Blog to see plenty of fresh Halloween themed content this October and be sure to have your eyes on the channel Halloween Night 7PM. GMT as SANDMAN premieres online for ONE WEEK ONLY before we start it’s journey in festivals all around the world.
Thanks as always and until next time…
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