Since Halloween is a mere day away, ’tis the season to get scared out of our pants! Thirty-one days of horror is great, and Netflix, Hulu, etc. provide easy access to countless feature-length horror films. However, a full-length film can be a time commitment. Enter short films. Short horror films are great because they must be efficient scare machines. In less than ten minutes, they have to effectively spook their audience. Also, a lot of them are free. So, here are three short films readily available on YouTube to send shivers down your spine this spooky season!
1. Lights Out
Before David F. Sandberg joined the DCEU, he was a freelance filmmaker. His breakout short, Lights Out won several awards in 2014. The success of the short caught the attention of James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring), and Wan produced a feature-length version of Lights Out. The feature-length version is a commendable first feature, but this short version is downright horrifying. Lights Out works best as a short, since the creature remains mysterious. When stretched out to movie length, finding out what makes the monster tick is removes a lot of the mystique. But here, it’s simply an unstoppable force. And the ending is a doozy!
2. Where Is It?
Where Is It? escalates its scares with incredible speed. The film runs 3.5 minutes, and each second builds to a whopper of an ending. Furthermore, it draws the audience into a false sense of security with the Facetime/Skype framing device. It’s a familiar bit of technology most people can use comfortably. Hopefully, this leads Zak White and Todd Spence into a lucrative career making horror films.
3. The Jigsaw
The Jigsaw floored me. It’s the longest film on the list, but it stands head and shoulders above the rest. It takes its time introducing the audience to its setting and characters. And it does so through its visuals. Film is a visual and auditory medium, and The Jigsaw opts to show instead of tell. It’s impeccably well-made, and the sound design is incredible. This film should be a Halloween party staple for years.
Short Bursts of Terror For Your Halloween Party
So there you have it. There are countless other short films on the internet, but these three are a great diving board. The world of horror shorts is richly rewarding, and you may find the next great horror icon lurking somewhere in cyberspace! What are some of your favorite horror shorts? Let us know in the comments!