Get in the Halloween Spirit With Some Horror Shorts - SATURDAY SHORTS
Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with this week's presentation of creepy short films created and sent in by fellow AICN readers. Halloween is just days away and what better way to get into the Halloween spirit than watching a bunch of creepy shorts? Answer - there is no other way (Aside from Carpenter's HALLOWEEN and perhaps HOCUS POCUS). Of course I kid, but hey - scary shorts fit perfectly alongside the fall weather, ghostly decorations outside, and costume parties galore, so why the hell not? Plus, each and every one of the shorts below is nothing short (heyo) of excellent. So prepare to have a good time and be sure to give each one a shot, ideally all at once, but it's your world - so click as you please. I really got into all of them, but know without a doubt each and every one of you out there might not have tastes that align with mine, so hey - shoot out your thoughts in the TalkBacks below. I'm always lurking around after a SATURDAY SHORTS post, so would love to hear your thoughts and I'm sure the filmmakers might be curious as well.
Go grab yourself a bowl of candy, lock your kids in the basement, kill the lights, relax and check out this little weekly film fest we've got ourselves here:
So up first is director Al Lougher's response to the growing view of vampires getting tamed in pop culture... They're supposed to be scary, heartless bastards - not sparkling loverboys (just my thoughts - though preaching to he choir here). If you dig the short, be sure to hit up their Facebook page.
"An avid vampire and Twilight fan one night takes the wrong train home. A nice little horror that is the anti Twilight vampire film and sets the record straight about this BS Twilight vampire lore. No glittering in the sun here!"
I've been sent in about five or six versions of THE RAVEN from different folks since kicking off SATURDAY SHORTS back in January and have even screened one already (super trippy), but here we are with Peter Bradley's take on the classic Poe tale. It's a story you're all familiar with and it's got a wicked raven design.
Now here we have a tripped out spooky flick from Brian Lonano of ATTACKAZOIDS, DEPLOY!! (First SATURDAY SHORTS ever). This one's got an incredibly unique and refreshing style. "My goal was to pay homage to my favorite horror films of the 30s and 40s. I love Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula and all of the Val Lewton films (especially Curse of the Cat People) and I always wanted to make a movie in that style. I shot it on Super 8 film that I won from a contest and I shot the ghosts and other supernatural events using HD. There's miniatures, traditional animation and other cool effects in the film. And I was very fortunate to screen the film at both Fantasia and Fantastic Fest this year"
So up next we have a chance to catch your breath, a horror/comedy that should feel familiar at first... "at first..." Stephen Vitale takes a traditional scene/moment we've all seen a million times and adds a little twist.
With our next movie, directors Brandon Boudreaux & Erick Dozier bring us into the wonderful world of the occult.
"A young man awakens, alone and nearly naked, atop an ominous symbol etched into the cold concrete. He realizes that he is trapped by an invisible barrier, there is no escape, and his torture at the hands of a cloaked coven has just begun. His only defense against the merciless assault is to retreat inside his mind, recalling visions of his beloved. His only hope is that her memory will help him summon the strength to survive."
And last, but certainly not least - a short that features a strong command of structure/visual choice/etc... Director David Benullo brings us an "atmospheric horror short about a young boy who discovers that the childhood tale of the Shadow Man may in fact be terrifyingly real..." It's got a real 80's vibe, but that could just be me.
And that's it this week ladies and gents. I'll be seeing you people next week, bu in the meantime be sure to click on any of the links below for a past SATURDAY SHORTS presentation:
If you have a short and think it belongs here or are on the fence about whether to send it in, please do send it in - I'd love to see what you've put together. I've already seen hundreds of fresh new filmmakers' shorts and like any good addict, I need more!
Shoot me an email at "Mike@aintitcool.com"
In the subject line include:
“SHORTS” + “Your film’s name” + “The film’s genre”
Then, in the body of the email, please include a synopsis of the film and any contact information you might think I need or would want published.
Please don’t feel the need to submit multiple times. I swear to each of you I truly check every email I get, and sending the same short a few times just makes it a bit messier.
Remember, the filmmakers might still be in the audience, so feel free to share your thoughts in Talkbacks below. (JUST DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE). I picked them, so you know I think highly of all of these, but how about you fine folks? How'd you like 'em?
- Mike McCutchen
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Oct. 27, 2012, 9:20 a.m. CST
by Dr Eric Vornoff
I have to go out now but I'll be watching all of these later as an entrée to my all night horrorthon. The Transmission sounds especially interesting, Love Val Lewton / Universal, so it sounds right up my street. Thanks Muldoon.
Oct. 27, 2012, 12:25 p.m. CST
by Vladimir I. Lenin
Sometimes there's a true gem to be found among the shorts.
Oct. 27, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST
SO PRETTY Meta take on vamp lore effective due to unassuming chemistry of leads. Widescreen framing = A. Needed direction for the actors bounce around a little as if really on a moving train and, while VFX for opening shot fine, sky too clear for lightning. Clean and concise *character is plot* story delivery, and liked the touch with Mr. Tough Tats charging the door. THE RAVEN Budget Poe retelling faithful with young lovers as intended — a frequent misunderstanding due to Price/Lorre/Lugosi/Karloff productions. Seems to go on for a bit, but paring down would undercut requisite parroting of the bird. Expressionist compositions help move things along, nice *Dr. Caligari* hallway miniature, and paper raven puppet rather cool. THE TRANSMISSION Contrast of Super-8 [enlarged like snow and cropped to 16x9] and DV sources seems deliberate, indicating the apparition being *made of video*. Assortment of VFX applications elaborate, though project as a whole seems a reasoning for them, with a statement on letting your life go to pot (drinking and watching television) moved back burner. STRUCTURE KILL Carnival haunted house car ride turned inside out. Opening probably an accurate play on how an encounter with a paranoid schizophrenic might go down. Cross-genre transition into modern Japanese ghost element, and its dejection, raises comedy bar. Quick exit on third baddie a smart move before empty threats get too out of hand. Fun. INITIUM Occult blood orgy lacking tension/narrative pull due to excessive montage. Unsure as to whether the brief imagery of frolicking nymphs at 01:23 was deliberate and, yes, when you wake up after fainting you're sucking on the floor or whatever is there! The way this plays out it's all about the ritual instead of the boy, and narrative shuffling telegraphs the amorous girl as *bait* from the get go. Consider reassembling this into into reaction shots of happy young man (with an unseen *someone*); sunny day/frolicking nymphs (as if a dream); the young man regaining consciousness (revealing the already-assembled coven). Take it from there with the girl's cross-identity, a flashback to her seduction and the young man's quick, horrific demise — add *laughing nymphs dream* SFX to final shot. SHADOW MAN Higher budget level shows with pro lighting, crane moves and Steadicam. Staple tension elements of creaking doors, startling phone ring, creeping tracking-in shots, edit on the turn of a head, etc. all present. Boy's shadow noticeable changes direction after the high angle street lamp shot (since we're looking for shadows). Curious as to why presentation was windowboxed, and was expecting the *shadow man* to pull it wide open when his hands grab the door frame at 8:01 (what an entrance!). Visual setup with kite in tree, near-abandoned schoolyard and long sunset shadows quite nice. Overall this week = Here comes Broom-Hilda!
Oct. 27, 2012, 1:11 p.m. CST
by Vladimir I. Lenin
Definitely reminds me of the classics from the 80s, but also reminds me of the not so good Boogeyman movie.
Oct. 27, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST
by Industrious Angel
... and that from me who isn't into horror. "So Pretty": I expected a spoof from the description - well it was that BUT creepy too as it should be! Nice acting, good quality overall. "The Raven": Very faithful illustration, well done. "The Transmission" had good effects work, looked refreshing. Not your of-the-mill ghost, reminds me a bit of Gene Wolfe's ghost stories. "Structure Kill" - fun spoof trip, not as good as "So Pretty". "Initium" was maybe the weakest this week (for me); might be better if I cared about the protagonist. Had a 70s vibe (Wicker Man anyone?) "Shadow Man" was my favourite this week - classic horror fare without any irony or gags or postmodern citations. I don't understand why horror films today always seem to deviate from horror into something else ... "Shadow Man" stays very focused, no laughs or twists or easy way out here. Also very bold use of colours, I liked that very much - in an age where many films get graded or toned down. No, you don't need to de-saturate the image to show it's a dire situation.
Oct. 27, 2012, 7:02 p.m. CST
Oct. 28, 2012, 3:35 p.m. CST
Shadow man was the best. Although the director is credited for writing one worst Bollywood superhero film from last year. But this short worked great. They should upload a higher res version. Structure kill was good fun. Actors made it work. So pretty was well shot. Female lead was weak compared to the male.
Oct. 28, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST
Hey, love this column but I tried going back through the weeks but I couldn't find any other version of The Raven. Any idea where I could find it?
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