The most effective short films do a lot within their relatively short time limits. They suspend tension over the brevity of their runtime, draw out strong reactions through the strategic, perfect placement of their tensions. At this year’s Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, the Creeping Terror collection offers ideal samples of maintained dread. These stories tell strong, diverse stories ranging from moral tales the human experience to the fears we are most afraid to face.
Other Side of the Box
Do not look away. Do not leave the house. That is exactly what it wants. A couple is gifted a mystery box by their friend. They are given precise instructions. They have one job: its owner must watch the box, or else it gets what it wants. Other Side of the Box is a plot burner, we cannot look away either, as the couple is confronted with the gruesome horror that lies within. Caleb J. Phillip has woven a captivating chiller, where it dares you to stay with it and feel the tension. Won’t you come and save me?
“It’s like we’re living in some kind of void.” Grief consumes a couple doing their best after the loss of a child. The line of communication has been broken and stressed, the thread of the existing relationship pulled taut, ready to snap at the nearest provocation. As the tea kettle whistles against the background of their argument, they get an unwelcome visitor. Large glass windows reveal a stranger outside, wild-eyed, an attendee of their support group. He has not come for comfort.
The Burden (Het Juk)
A nice little ‘something in the attic’ story from the Netherlands. The Burden finds new arrival Ciska worried about the family home of her partner Pascal. It shares a yard with a mute neighbor, Esther, who has put Ciska ill at ease already and the house seems to be permeated with a dark evil, centralized in its attic.
Suicide by Sunlight
The black vampire genre is ripe for exploration. With touches of Ganja & Hess (1973), extremely talented director Nikyatu Jusu shows extreme potential with Suicide by Sunlight. There are some shorts you just wish were a full picture, that do a lot of good with a short amount of time. The idea is simply great: black vampires get to wander in the daylight, as their melanin does not allow them to be affected by the sun. That’s the kind of logline this critic sits down for a movie for. Just a really great short production with excellent shots, pacing, acting. We want more.
We gave our blurb on The Boogeywoman a few short months ago at the North Bend Film Festival. Rather than clipping the blurb, let’s readdress this excellent short. A young lady experiences her first period at a roller rink. It’s the perfect setting for the adolescent change, as we roll through life to the gleeful soundtracks of our lives, becoming someone absolutely new. And, well, it has significantly stuck with me since August. It’s a startlingly well put together short about rebirth and life changes, a perfect cap to any horror package, but especially this one. If it’s available at any festival, please do go see it. Too often only men get to boogey, it’s about time that changed.