I’m telling you, while feature length films aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, short horror films are going to continue to explode in popularity. People are more distracted than ever (not busy, just distracted), and it’s getting harder and harder to fight for their attention. This is where the micro short fits in perfectly. Tiny snapshot horrors which work as both a complete—effective—piece provide a quick jolt for folks short on time, while also working to quickly bring recognition to those involved in its production. And we’ve covered plenty.
Unfortunately not all of them land as they’re expected to. Understandable given the double-edged sword of a super-short run time (which makes the annual 15-second horror challenge all the more incredible to witness), but the two most recent ones I’m about to share with you, thankfully land on the side of success. One more than the other, but both still good.
Robyn August, a freelance director / writer / editor was kind enough to share two short films of his, both relying on atmosphere, slight-of-hand camera tricks, and fantastic composition to deliver some unsettling visuals, tense story-telling, and goosebump-inducing horror. We like what we see, and now need to see more. Check them out below:
SNAP builds on the fundamentals of horror to deliver a creepy, if predictable little nugget. A tale about a camera which possesses the ability to see what the human eye can’t, a peak into a dark parallel world. And of course the film’s lead can’t NOT resist the urge to get that perfect shot, ominous warnings be damned! But that’s great for us, because we get some pretty cool moments delivered as a result. My favorite aspect of this particular short is how well edited it is to give the impression of two existing planes of reality. There’s also some clever composition to help lead our eyes towards the dark and nasty (the moment when the shadowy apparition appears is fantastic). On a technical level, SNAP is impressive. On a story-telling level, it’s good, but it gets better…
Similar to SNAP in pacing, Doggy See Evil is a patience short that invests heavily on building dread, only ever allowing us a glimpse of fear—from the perspective of the titular furry co-star. As unearthly noises are heard coming from the laundry room, the oh-so-cute terrier’s owner is called to investigate, reluctantly. I can’t blame her for the hesitation. This particular short actually made my skin crawl, and ended on a terrifying note which definitely caused me to jump an inch out my seat; the final image being the stuff of pants-shitting nightmares. It’s crazy that with an even shorter running time compared to his earlier film (SNAP), this ended up being the scariest of the two! A clear indication of his improved craft, and a promise for some great things in the near future.