Though many film goers enjoy making a trip to the marquee to be scared and spooked by their favorite film villains, there is a separate and emerging genre – known as the short horror film – that is becoming increasingly popular at film festivals and on the internet. Short horror films are appealing to many viewers because they distill the concepts of fear and psychological thrill into a condensed 20 minutes or less that erases all of the subterfuge that frequently accompanies feature length horror films (like those extended back stories every Freddy Cougar-esque character has to come with). The following short horror films are among the most popular online today and may one day appear at the box office near you as a full length blockbuster!
Antivirgen 1: Chi Sei?
Antivirgen 1: Chi Sei? is a short horror film directed by Michael Frost. It borrows heavily from two Italian remakes of The Exorcist back in the 1970s. For whatever reason, Italian filmmakers were obsessed with the idea of taking American horror films and reworking the stories to explore themes that would appeal to European sensibilities. Antivirgen stars Juliet Mills as a typical female protagonist of such features who is pregnant and possessed (a deadly combination, if ever there was one, cinematically speaking). She acts much like the possessed pregnant woman of the original Exorcist, except in this one, she shoves the vomit back in when she begins to spew. You can surmise the rest from that alone!
Wretched is a short horror written by horror film journalist Heidi Martinuzzi. The film is both horrifying and traumatic in that is deals with very realistic and complicated issues such as depression, bulimia and emotional abuse. It is based on the real life experiences of Martinuzzi who depicts a young woman’s desire to save her failing marriage by controlling her food intake. The film is aimed largely at contemporary audiences identifying with the multitude of emotional and psychological disorders that consume the protagonist of Wretched.
As you may have guessed by the title, there is something suspicious in the trunk! Starring Jessica Edwards and Kerry Stanley, this short horror film centers around a dark secret held by one of the protagonists named Rachel. Rachel must confide her secret in Kate because she knows that Kate will understand. Something terrible transpires between Rachel and her abusive boyfriend which doesn’t end well. What is the secret you may be wondering? You have to look in the trunk to find out!
A séance is never boring, is it? This award winning short film tells the story of three enterprising individuals hoping to uncover the fortune of a dead baroness. How exactly do they aim to do that? Through a séance, of course! Naturally, nothing goes quite as planned, leading to some very ugly turns for the main characters. Shot over ten days in the Czech Republic, the film won a number of notices, including Best Short Film at the Dark Carnival Film Festival and the South African Horrorfest.
The Nightmare is a captivating and haunting short by Joseph Christiana. It tells the story of a young boy being pursued by an unknown quantity . . . just what might it be? The film takes its time to make the revelation to the viewers, but many are genuinely creeped out by the unknown presence in the film. Where Christiana makes his greatest strides in making the film work, however, is in allowing the audience to identify with the main character, thereby making the plot all the more urgent. Not bad for a film that’s just six minutes long!