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Horror Guys Short Horror Film Festival #1
Horror Bulletin for Week 171
This week, we’re doing something different— We’re watching ELEVEN Horror Short films. Call it a mini-festival if you will.
Bonus reviews at https://horrorbulletin.com
The Wasp Woman (1959)
The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters (1972)
New Movie Giveaway!
We’ve got FIVE copies of the new film, “Torn Hearts,” starring Katey Sagal, to give away this week. We’ll be doing the review for next week’s show, so now’s your chance to get ahead of us! This time around, all you have to do is be one of the first FIVE people to email us and just ask for it: firstname.lastname@example.org It’s a digital code, so you’ll get your prize by email soon afterwards.
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Short Film: Run (2022)
Directed by Alex Magana
Written by Alex Magana
Stars Michael Glauser, Esther Lane Montes, Mackenzie Miller
Run Time: 3:18
We see a news report that says fitness trackers are being recalled, as they keep making users exercise to death. The girlfriend warns her boyfriend about his fitness tracker, but he calls it “fake news.”
The tracker explains that it’s going to take him to a new level of fitness, which is absolutely true...
Wow. I pretty much feel like that after any workout, so this guy did pretty well. It’s short and only has one gag, but it’s really well done and there’s not really anything here to wonder about; it’s a complete, self-contained story.
Short Film: Posies (2022)
Directed by Katherine Fisher, R. H. Stavis
Written by R. H. Stavis
Stars Anna Diop, Andy Favreau, Zach Rogers
Run Time: 14 Minutes
Maddy sits at her makeup table and works on her face as the TV plays in the background. Her house is old and full of antiques. The news people are talking about the “de-evolution” of society. She massages flower petals into cracks in her skin. She gets a phone call and admits that she’s been “unreliable lately.” She looks at her skin peeling and starts to cry.
Maddy meets her boyfriend, who comments on her odd, “Earthy” smell. She asks him if he’s been watching the news lately about that de-evolution thing...
It’s another one of those “what is going on here?” stories. Her behavior in the beginning is comparable to anyone who has a skin disease or cancer or something, but it’s obviously not those things.
The soundtrack and the lighting are very noteworthy here, with very cool music and perfect set construction. There’s clearly some political and social allegory going on here, but it all really just seems to boil down to social “karma,” if that’s a thing. Excellent and worth the watch.
Short Film: Little Brother (2021)
Directed by Dikega Hadnot
Written by Spencer Mandel
Stars Hattie Winston
Run Time: 13 Minutes
Lamont’s teacher, Mr. K, calls his mother; he’s coming over soon. Lamont lives in an interesting neighborhood. Mrs. Webb is Lamont’s grandmother, and she’s very welcoming. Mr. K is curious about Lamont’s inconsistent attendance, and he has questions. She talks about Lamont’s special homeschooling subjects...
This is just amazing.
It’s an awkward and uncomfortable home visit from a teacher that devolves into something unusual.
It’s very well acted all around, and the sets and cinematography are excellent. The teacher maybe pushes his overeducated nastiness a bit unsubtly, but grandma is just perfect here to counteract him.
People always say teaching is hard, but they have no idea. Mr. K isn’t racist, but... he’s maybe a little too “woke” for his own good.
Short Film: Dead Teenager Seance (2022)
Directed by Rodrigo Gasparini, Dante Vescio
Written by Dante Vescio, Rafael Baliu, Rodrigo Gasparini
Stars Bianca Tadini, Sofia Peres, Ivo Muller
Run Time: 20 Minutes
We zoom into a creepy mansion with a bunch of people in dark robes. A woman with white eyes sits at the crystal ball, and we see things on the TV.
The young couple on the TV look like they’re from the 80s, and they talk about the old Count who built the house. He had a son named Adam who liked to go hunting, until he got tired of hunting animals.
The robed people don’t care for what they see on the TV as the young people head inside the house. We see that both stories are in the same house. It gets weirder and weirder...
The design on Adam is really nice as well. He kept reminding me of one of Tim Burton’s creations.
The bits in the past look like a typical 80s slasher film (and looks really good), but the stuff in the modern day looks more like it was filmed on a phone. Still, what happens does all make sense, and it almost feels like a condensed version of a longer film. Well, it could be anyway.
It took a while to get going with this one, I though it looked like it was going to be a stupid parody in the beginning, but it got better and better as it went along. Stick with it, it’s worthwhile.
Short Film: Bruche (2022)
Directed by Andrea Cazzaniga
Written by Tatjana Scheel
Stars Lea van Acken, Athena Strates, Friederike Ferichs
Run Time: 17:45
We open in a church at night, and a girl walks silently through the halls. Iris sees a creepy old nun, but then her friend comes in and says Iris was sleepwalking. They are sleeping in the old church, and sometimes Iris has nightmares. The next morning, they see a photo of that same old nun, who died in 1985.
Iris and her friend are backpacking through Europe, and they come across an old, abandoned mansion. They know they aren’t going to be able to find the village tonight, so they go inside to look around.
It’s an old place, and it’s obviously been empty a long time. That doesn’t mean that they’re alone in there...
“Bruche” means “Cracks.” Cracks in the building? Cracks in Iris’s sanity, or cracks in reality? Yes.
The acting here is fine, but what really makes this one stand out is the locations. The old buildings have a life (or death) of their own.
Short Film: The Trunk (2022)
Directed by Aaron Fradkin
Written by Aaron Fradkin
Stars Misha Reeves
Run Time: 6:15
A woman finds a trunk in her yard. It’s empty, so she takes it inside. Free stuff is a good thing, right? She notices some scratches and hair on the inside. It’s too small for a person, so what was in there? She cleans out the dirt and packs her clothes inside.
That night, she hears something moving in the other room of the apartment...
It’s good; very suspenseful. The ending wasn’t what I expected, and it was very good. Still, the lesson is clear: if you ever find a free trunk in your yard, just drag it to the curb.
Short Film: The Thing That Ate the Birds (2021)
Directed by Dan Gitsham, Sophie Mair
Written by Dan Gitsham, Sophie Mair
Stars Eoin Slattery, Rebecca Palmer, Lewis McKinnon
Run Time: 12 Minutes
Abe walks through a field and finds a half-eaten bird. His wife steps on some broken glass with her bare foot. He goes outside to find still more dead birds, and his neighbor thinks it’s a fox. His wife complains about him on the telephone to her friend; she clearly hates him. Abe and his friend go hunting for the fox...
It’s probably not a spoiler to say that it wasn’t a fox.
It’s really good. You don’t know what’s going on until the end, and even then, you don’t really know why.
It all looks great. The locations and cinematography are excellent, the acting is fine, the creature looks good, but the mystery of the thing is what makes this one cool. What is going on?
I don’t usually like shorts that don’t explain things at the end, and I’m still wondering why the wife hated the husband so much. I have theories, but no confirmation. I guess I like the ones that make me think more than the ones that explain everything, and this is one of those.
Short Film: The Home (2022)
Directed by L. Gustavo Cooper
Written by L. Gustavo Cooper , Peter Cilello
Stars Alex Essoe, Andy McPhee, Kelly Love
Run Time: 5:54
We do a drone flyover of an isolated church in the snowy wilderness. Old Father Michael prays for guidance. He has a bunch of women sleeping in the main church room. This is a home for unwed mothers in the Irish countryside. “They come for our babies,” cries one of the women. The women then try to get some sleep as the dogs bark and the wind blows. Father Michael says that’s an old wives’ tale. He could be wrong...
The setting and windy ambiance are creepy enough without the creature inside with them. I didn’t catch the name of the creature, but I assume it’s from some Irish folk legend. It’s short and very well done.
Short Film: Mum’s Sweater (2022)
Created by Anand K. Varma, Yi Chen Hsiao, Mauriziana Gualdini, Ugo Offner, James Mann
Run Time: 6:48
Kim watches a firefighter try to put out the blaze. Credits roll.
She unpacks a box labeled “Mom’s stuff” and finds an old red sweater that she puts on. She goes to sleep and in the morning finds her breakfast made and set out just like her mom would have done. Her boss wants to know if she’ll need more time off to cope with her loss. We see that the sweater might just not be what it appears.
Sometimes memories can be overwhelming and we’re better off without them.
This is completely animated, and it’s really good. It starts out normal enough, but goes all psychedelic about halfway through.
Short Film: Happy Birthday (2021)
Directed by Aaron Fradkin
Stars Victoria Fratz
Run Time: 6:36
A woman looks herself over in the mirror, and we see from her phone notifications that it’s her birthday. She comes out of the bathroom and finds a birthday cake there with a candle and a weird card. She wasn’t expecting them. She makes a wish and blows out the candle. Then she tastes the cake...
I have no idea what that was all about, but it’s really good. The makeup effects and music are great, and nothing at all is explained. It’s just weird!
Short Film: Emptied (2022)
Directed by Jocelyn Webber
Written by Jocelyn Webber
Stars Mackenzie Davis, Beck Bennett, Elena Schuber
Run Time: 6:22
Charlotte, working late at the dentist’s office, unlocks the door and lets in a customer. She hugs him and then starts working on his mouth. He wants to talk about cheating on her, saying “it was just the once, and it was just sex.” She then sedates him for the oral work...
You can probably guess exactly where this one goes, and you wouldn’t be wrong. There’s nothing in real life more terrifying than a dentist, and now we see why. It’s really well done, and everything looks real. The song used in the soundtrack is really cool in its own right.
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