Last week we gave you a list of 10 Horror Shorts to watch while you’re tucked into bed and looking for a scare. This week we continue with another 10, maybe just to pass the time at work. Either way, it’s best if you close the door, turn off the lights, and put on your headphones for maximum fear.
- Not Alone – You may have heard of The Witching Season, an episodic show of sorts whose horror shorts include some of the best tropes the genre has to offer. If you haven’t, I touched on them briefly here. This one’s my personal favourite so far, playing on a theme we’re all maybe a little too familiar with.
2. The Smiling Man – Last week’s list of shorts included one called 2AM: The Smiling Man featuring an effective, lean look at how we feel when people act outside of the realm of normal behaviour. This week’s Smiling Man involves a little girl led around her house by mysterious balloons. What she finds at the end had me unable to tear my eyes away from the screen. Great makeup in this one.
3. Human Form – Coming out of Korea is Human Form, an especially eerie short that challenges the plastic surgery obsession of the country. But don’t let its apparent agenda discourage you; this horror short is strong. Lean on action, its scares come mostly from the foreboding presence of unmet expectations and the bizarre mannequin-like faces and stares of everyone involved. This one sends a real chill up the spine, and it’s my favourite of this bunch.
4. Coffer – I love a good creaky, scratchy, threatening sound, especially when I know for sure it isn’t mice. The sound in Coffer is brilliant, amping up the dread for us to find out what is inside of that chest that goes bump in the night. This short hits that sweet spot of being afraid but also really wanting to have a good look at the darkness right in the face.
5. The Moonlight Man – Ladies take note: within the first few seconds you’ll probably already be in defensive nervous mode as we see the protagonist, a young woman, walking to her car in the dark. Really, that’s enough. But who, or what, she sees adds another layer of fear to the entire situation. What is it about extra-long limbs and fingers that gives us the heebie-jeebies?
6. Selfie from Hell – I’ll admit it, I take a lot of selfies. Horror shorts about cellphones are a dime a dozen, but this one effectively creeped me out. What if your camera revealed something you couldn’t see? By the time you recognize what it is, it’s already too late.
7. Amy – Let’s talk about escalation, because this short has a lot of it. It’s also maybe the best commercial against using your phone and driving, and seems like a perfect starter to a cruel urban legend. The actors here really give it their all and that’s what makes it worth sticking around for.
8. Pictures – Here’s another short about cellphones, this one where each picture seems to predict the future. As it moves ahead, the future becomes more sinister but it might not end the way you think. Horror shorts that take place in the daylight are generally harder to pull off, and this one deserves kudos for amping up the fear and using sound to its advantage.
9. I Heard It Too – Kids are king in horror shorts and this one is CUTE. “Mummy i’m scaaahed” she says, after hearing a mysterious voice, exactly like her mother’s, calling her name. The longer she hides the more aggressive the voice gets, and the fear is real, especially by the end when it’s time to be found.
10. La Cabina – Go get another snack; this Spanish short from 1972 clocks in at over 30 minutes but it’s worth it. A man gets stuck inside a phone booth, and after some unsuccessful attempts by good Samaritans to free him the community gathers around just to look at him and laugh. At first I was like, “So?” but then I was like, “Wait, this would be the worst.” and then I started to feel as hot and claustrophobic as the dude. Before you know it, it gets even worse, with the last 6 minutes taking you to a place of nightmares. Pretty clever!
Thanks for checking these out! Share your favourite horror shorts below, or send them to me on twitter, @bexbz
Featured Image: Danny Donahue