I can only apologise to you all for letting you down! I’ve long been a big fan of horror shorts (and feel that many easily surpass some of the genre’s more lacklustre features!) and have prided myself on bringing you some regular links to some of the very best out there.
With that in mind, let me make it up to you all with not one or two, not even a handful, but SIX great short films to while away your time. Enjoy!
1. PRIPYAT (2013)
Dir: The Oplawski Twins
This is a terrifying little short that follows a squad of Soviet soldiers in the town that was devastated by the Chernobyll disaster on the day of the incident. As the hapless troops look on we start to realise that the meltdown was no accident — and was used to eliminate an even more terrifying threat.
A dark and foreboding atmosphere, amazing production values, superb sound effects and a creepy premise make Pripyat a real hit. Watch it in the dark for best effect…
2. THE SLEEPOVER (2012)
Dir: Chris Culari
And now a bit of humour for a change of pace. This short was created as proof of concept for a feature film and depicts a spooky night-time conversation between two young boys in a town 'between sequels' of its deadly masked slasher. Do the boys and their babysitter stand a chance in a place where the bogeyman is all too real?
Lashings of self-aware humour, a creepy Halloween-like atmosphere, some nice performances and a great punchline make this a must-see for slasher fans.
Watch it HERE.
3. HE DIES AT THE END (2010)
Dir: Damian Mc Carthy
One night, while a man is working late, a strange pop-up on his computer asks him if he’d like to know how he will die. Creeped out but curious, he begins to click away...
This is a great premise, the sort of techno-horror that seems big in Japan, and builds a creepy and unsettling atmosphere before hitting you with a marvellous climax that will make you scream, then laugh your arse off. He Dies At The End is a great example of how, with talent and vision, a low-budget needn’t be a hindrance to good filmmaking.
4. SUCKABLOOD (2012)
Dir: Jake Cuddihy and Ben Tillett
From a thoroughly modern scary story to a more old-fashioned chiller. A dark, gothic fairytale, Suckablood follows a little girl who has been given a terrifying warning about sucking her thumb by her stern and strict mother — for doing so will summon the monstrous Suckablood.
This is a great and atmospheric little film, boasting tonnes of style and a great performance from young Holly Jacobson as the spooked little girl. Plus the ending is brilliant too, so you should watch it ASAP!
5. DON’T MOVE (2013)
Dir: Anthony Melton
The first of two lengthier shorts to wrap up and this one is a belter! Continuing the trend of summoning dangerous beasties, Don’t Move is about six friends gather for their monthly games night and decide that a ouija board could be fun. This leads to them accidentally unleashing a ferocious demonic entity that proceeds to brutally slaughter anyone who moves. As the friends find themselves frozen to the spot, that realised that to survive the others must die.
This is fantastic, a nifty premise, almost unbearable tension and a creature designed and created by Hellraiser’s Cliff Wallace. Check it out!
6. TREEVENGE (2008)
Dir: Jason Eisener
Wow, where to start with this one? I was going to post a link to Treevenge over Christmas but alas, never got around to it. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t all be able to enjoy this incredibly mean-spirited little slice of insanity from Jason Eisener, the sick genius that brought us Hobo With A Shotgun.
Christmas is a pretty terrible time to be a tree, as we are shown early on in the short when swathes of trees are hacked down as they beg for their lives. But what happens when the trees decide enough is enough and fight back?
The answer: one of the most hilarious, shocking, brutally violent and gory explosions of bad-taste to ever hit the screen! You need to see this one!
So there you are, I hope that sates your appetite for quality, horror short films. If not, well, stay tuned, there’ll be plenty more in the days ahead.
Which was your favourite from the list? Have you got any recommendations for future Sharp Shock Shorts columns? Leave your comments below or drop me a message, it'd be great to hear from you.
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Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.