Full length horror films are gems, they have to keep the scares coming while having an interesting story that can keep an audience interested, not to mention keeping each scare unpredictable and unique so we don’t get used to it. A short film, however, gets to use all its good scares at once leaving us shaking in our seats, scared to look behind us. I find short horrors genuinely more unsettling and scarier than most horror films, they’re fast paced and you’re thrown right in there. There’s no time to get comfortable. I’ll be sharing 3 of my favourite short horror films that leave me with my heart in my throat and knuckles whiter than snow from where I’m clenching my fists so tight. And of course, I love that most of them are posted to Youtube by their creators so everyone can enjoy them!
- So the first one comes from Daywalt Horror and is entitled Bedfellows. This was the first short horror I ever saw, it was linked from Youtube onto Tumblr and I curiously pressed play. By the end of it I was panting in a cold sweat and turned my laptop off. The film only lasts for a minute and a half so really as soon as it starts but in those last few seconds tearing your eyes away isn’t an option and you sit at the end of your seat almost crying.
- This one is a little longer lasting just over 4 minutes. Written and directed by Damian McCarthy, He Dies at the End is about a man who’s working late, alone in his office when a questionnaire promising to tell him how he will die pops up on his screen. This film has no dialogue, the only sounds we hear are general office noises; keyboard tapping, mouse clicking, air coniditioning which immediately makes me feel uncomfortbale. The camera is constantly cutting between different angles so there’s no chance of feeling comfortable. And with each click of the mouse there’s another build up of tension. Horror directors could take a few lessons from McCarthy because I’ve never felt more tense in my life. (I even had to pause the video to slow my heart rate down at one point)
- The last one (and my favourite) is based off a Reddit story. As a Redditor (not one of those redditors, I just use it for the NoSleep sub) it’s nice to see someone’s story being turned into a film. 2AM: The Smiling Man sees a young man walking streets in the early hours of the morning where he runs into a tall, thin man who looks to be sinisterly happy. If I describe what the Smiling Man is doing you’ll laugh and the film might lose its effect, so just watch this one. The Smiling Man also reminds me of The Gentlman from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and if you don’t know who they are then watch Buffy (all seven seasons will do). Above monsters, ghosts, aliens it’s humans that scare me most, especially those you have no idea what they’re going to do next.
Read the story too!
Short films are definitely powerful and wonderful and can be extremely refreshing to watch! Let me know of any short horror films that I should give a whirl and I’ll let you know what I think (if I make it to the end that is!)
Thanks for reading,
all the best,