The Fight (Canada) (2016)
In this super short film, a couple fights each in their own scene, or perhaps each in their own timeline. Their fight escalates and a surprise is in store for each of them and the viewer. This grim short, short for an estimated $50CAD (yes you read that right), is written Clint D’Souza, Neil Tavares and directed by D’Souza. Stars Asoya Hall and Steve Kasan sell the fight and its emotions well while escalating at a nice pace. This short is a visceral one for anyone who has ever reach a breaking point with a significant other.
A Quiet Moment (Canada) (2016)
This Digger Films productions follows a mother who hears her husband in her child’s room while she is relaxing one floor below through the baby monitor. As things advance, all is not as it seems. This short is creepy and has plenty of atmosphere with an ending that will certainly chill. The music creates a bit part of the atmosphere and adds an extra layer to the creepiness. In just 4 minutes, the film manages more than many blockbusters have in the 90 minutes recently. It looks great, sounds good, and has good performances.
It Wants to be Born (Canada) (2016)
Writer/director Fil Santos creates a short vehicle for start Grace Munro with narration by Raven Cousins where a young woman goes on a quest of revenge by way of sex and violence. Her reasons are not clear until later in the film giving her mission a mystery. Munro gives a really good performance and the film’s cinematography by Aldo Quirván gives her an ambiance in which to work that creates an almost dream-like quality. The effects are simple, mainly blood, and effective. The short is not one made just for enjoyment but might make some think.
The Jogger (Canada) (2016)
This fun short about a man going on a diet and exercise plan until he can’t take it anymore is made by Jay Randall and stars Mike Paterson as the man who may not be all well of mind. This one is more comedy than horror but it has some good effects on a specific scenes that will make most laugh while the gore happens. It’s short, it’s fun, and it’s worth a watch.
Storm of the Century (La Tempete du Siecle) (Canada) (2016)
In this French-Canadian short by Renaud Gauthier, a man is the getaway driver for his ingrate and rude friends as they rob a bank. When things go wrong, the snow covered street becomes a violent mess of double-crosses. This short is set in the late 70s/early 80s and has great costume, staging, and car use. The sound design, particularly the wind, make it feel cold, giving it an extra layer of interest. The narration also adds to the film and makes it funnier than the action alone. This is a fun, funny, heist short.
Mrs. Rafferty’s Red Red Roses (Canada) (2016)
Director Greg Kovacs’ short about a door-to-door assassin offering his services to competing housewives is interesting in its subject but somehow manages to feel a bit long at all of 6 minutes. There is a funny twist, but it’s not quite enough to make the film exciting or really fun. The cinematography suffers from over-exposure in some of the sunnier scenes, giving it a slight Instagram-y look. The acting is good with a small cast of 3 doing decently with the material.
Summoned (Canada) (2016)
Originally reviewed as part of Horrible Imagingings Film Festival 2016, in writer/director Victoria Angell’s short; an abused teenager summons an evil supernatural entity to help her stop it. Once in her world, the entity goes rogue and much beyond what the teen had intended for it. The film deals, in its short time, with themes of abuse, revenge, and regret. The acting is good by lead Casey Beattie and the music by Adam Fulton is decent. Unfortunately, the evil being’s voice is not effective or scary, thus taking some of the film’s effectiveness away. Still, the film has a nicely creepy atmosphere and has a few nasty surprises in store that make it worth a watch or two.
Brother(s) (Canada) (2015)
After his brother’s death, a young boy starts wishing for him to come back until he sees something… In writer/director Nick Pusic’s short, a child missing his brother wants him back and wants life back. This takes an odd and creepy turn which works well within the film’s confines. Playing the boy wishing for his brother back is Cole Pybus who does well with the part showing a child marked by the passing of his brother while being scared and wishing for his life to be normal again. The film sports good special effects and a great closing song. It is a good watch and has a few truly creepy moments with a fitting ending.
Everybody Knows Me (Canada) (2016)
A man and his wife live in the countryside where they have a renter who may be coming between them. This short set in January 1993 is violent with good acting but the story felt either unclear or this reviewer got lost for some reason, particularly in the end. The creepy bits are effective but not quite enough to make this one to rewatch.
Engineers (Canada) (2016)
This short by writers Dean Tardioli and Tyler A. Williams, directed by Williams, is visually dark and hard to watch a bit, but some of the scenes are properly nightmarish with some undertones reminiscent of Clive Barker’s work, with a touch of Hellraiser and other hellish stories. The film has some great images at times and the cinematography by Jonathan Kischel with art direction by Austin Durling. The music by Ed Devlin, Eric Landry, and Colin MacDougall is a bit synthwave-y and nicely low, giving the film an even darker feel.
A young woman is flirting with men by text messages, selecting the right one to spend some time with. As this is a horror short, things of course take an odd turn. The story is well done with decent acting and a fitting score. The effects are simple but they work well in the film and with the story. The twist to things is interesting and creates an fitting ending to the atmospheric film.
What do you see?
A young woman battling demons from her past seeks help from a hypnotist and his assist even though things did not go well the first time she visited them. Written by Charlie Hamilton who co-directed with Zachary Ramelan, this one is that is creepy and even has some genuinely scary moments. The lead played by Raven Cousens brings the viewer in and makes them care for her predicament and react along with her as Rich Piatkowski guides her and the viewer through it by way of hypnotist for her and an odd kind of narration for the viewer. The effects on Kalina Hada-Lemon’s character bring a nice mystery and fear to the proceedings.
Madre de Dios (Canada) (2016)
Originally reviewed as part of Horrible Imagingings Film Festival 2016, during a cult-like ceremony, two Brujos use a scared and hurt woman as a vessel to birth the Anti-Christ. Written by Luke Bramley, Shane McKenzie, and Gigi Saul Guerrero, based on a story by the latter, and directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero, Madre de Dios is a quick glance into a deranged couple’s cult and how far they will go to bring forth the one they praise. The cast of three composed of Luis Javier and Gabriela Zimmerman as the couple and Tristan Risk as their victim, their Santa Muerte, give interesting performances.
Javier and Zimmerman give a maniacal glee to their characters as they go through their ritual. Risk brings a palpable fear to her part without saying a word. Together, this glee and her fear create a perfect storm of emotions for this short and its story. The effects created by Andrea Dulmage, Amy-Leigh Poitras, Tomasz Sosnowski, and Carolyn Williams look good and are properly bloody. The film is creepy in its use of religion mixed with cult which may work better for those raised with a Catholic background but it should work for anyone given the cult angle.
Blood in the Snow ran from November 25th to November 27th, 2016.