Mister Cinecal

Mister Cinecal

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Short Film Showcase: Spooky Shorts

So it's been a been a while since I've updated this blog. I've been a bit busy with FilmFixx this week and you should definitely check some of that out. To get things back on track here though, since Pumpkin Spice Latté season is now upon us, I thought I would do a quick showcase of a couple of short films with spooky subject matter. All of these shorts clock get their story told in less than 5 minutes so if you're looking for a quick scare I recommend checking them out!

1. Lights Out

Now I'm sure most of you would have seen this already, it was all the range on the clickbait sites a couple of months ago, but there's no doubting the effectiveness of Lights Out as a horror story with just 3 minutes run-time and no dialogue. Filmmakers David Sandberg and Lotta Losten establish a unnerving premise right away-'something bad is there when the lights are off'-and through simple use of visuals and sound, take us back to the kind of fears we had in the dark at night as children. Yes there is a bit of jump scare heavy lifting at the end, but it works because that is literally the end of the short; 3 minutes of build-up and a scary pay off.

2. Tea Time

You're going to have to follow the link to watch this one because it won't embed but believe me it's worth doing. Like Lights Out, this 2009 short by Erik Deutschman has no dialogue, but while the former film was all about a tense atmosphere and sense of imminent danger, this one is just unsettling. An old lady is getting ready for a spot of tea for two, but it becomes clear very quickly that things aren't all right with her. If you like your scares a little more on the David Lynch side of being weird and wrong, then the vibe given off by this film's plinking piano music and simple but effective camera work will appeal to you.

3. La Boca Del Léon 

'Found footage' films and jitter cam definitely aren't for everybody but La Boca Del Léon, made last year for the Phonetastic category of the Sitges International Film Festival, which only accepts short films recorded on smart phone, at least does well in establishing a good reason for why it's on a phone. The short features a man who has gotten mixed up with a bad case of the aul paranormal activity making a call for help, and the attempts to help him by his daughter and the voice on the other end of the line. It's a clever use of the gimmick and it does kind of go the way you would expect it to, the effects are good for this standard and it's well executed. And come on, you have to love that jaunty music playing over the credits!

Feel free to let me know what you thought of these shorts and, if you have any other recommendations for short horror films, leave a suggestion in the comments!

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