Creatures of Whitechapel (2016) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

London, 1888, someone is killing prostitutes. At the same time, a mad scientist is putting together a creature.

In this mash-up of Frankenstein and Jack the Ripper, Igor is now a woman and on the hunt for body parts. Frankenstein’s creature is a touch different and the film gains greatly from it. Co-written by Jonathan Martin and Rebecca Martin, with the former directing as well, Creatures of Whitechapel takes two well-known stories, mixes them, and creates a story that works perfectly. The changes to the characters work and their new ways bring these stories some fresh air. The characters created this way are fun to watch and layered in a way that feels non-gimmicky as opposed to most film that pull the gender-swap card. The stories work well once merged into one and the mysteries they create are interesting. The film makes good use of known characters, locations, and stories, creating a short film with a ton behind it and a lot of interest for most horror fans.

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Born of Sin (2017) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

When an alcoholic father leaves his daughter in the car to go to a bar, things take a turn for her that is both dangerous and odd.

Written and directed by William Boodell, the short explores bad parenting and the risks of leaving your child unattended, but with a twist that changes things quite a bit at the end.  His writing here leads the viewer in one direction for most of the film and then a twist changes things, which makes sense, and does not feel forced.  The characters he creates here are strong and have their own direction and way of handling their situations.  He uses these to a great effect and plays on some of society’s fears to bring his film together and make the audience react.

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A Father’s Day (2016) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

A man meets a young girl as they both are zombies and shuffling through life. As they make new memories and make the day special, their father-daughter bond strengthens.

Written and directed by Mat Johns, A Father’s Day creates a relationship that shows how strong the bonds between a father and daughter can be in a gut-punch of a short film. He uses the zombie apocalypse as a backdrop to show family bonds and how people can relate to each other. It’s a simple set up, yet it contains so many layers and so much in terms of emotional baggage. The film shows different levels of zombies and different levels of human interactions and bonds.

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The Shorts of Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival 2017 [Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival 2017]

The staff at Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival makes a great effort to bring all kinds of horrific, kooky, and fun shorts to their fest.  The films chosen are of a wide array and all different from each other.  Here are a few shorts reviews for a few of these short films:

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Bride of Frankie (2017) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

While the Doctor is away, his assistant will play.  As the mad-scientist is out, his not-so-mad assistant works on getting his creation a friend.  As the friend comes to life, the assistant teaches her how to live and how to love.

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Death Metal (2016) [Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival 2017]

Panhandling plus satanic riffs equates to all out of carnage and bloodshed in writer/director Chris McInroy’s return after Bad Guy #2 with horror short Death Metal. Lars spends his day in the park, strumming his guitar with a tip jar at his side. Instead of money, it’s insults that are thrown his way. After lamenting to his father, and being completely negligent, Lars returns with an evil axe that makes him sound like he actually can play the instrument well.

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Filippa (2017) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

A father comes home to his daughter playfully wanting to play hide and seek. As he searches for her, something is clearly not as it should be.

Written and directed by Alexander Rönnberg, Filippa plays on parental fears and a father’s wants, hopes, dreams, and nightmares. The short film does so by showing just a small activity between a father and daughter and adding a fear element that just about any parent can relate too. Here that fear of losing a child gets more complex as the film advances and does so in subtle, nuanced ways that give the film a power over the viewer that is strong, impressive, and soft all at the same time. It’s one of those shorts that does not put things up in the viewer’s face and lets the viewer find their own fear and dread in the story. The film builds a nice family vibe and then adds this fear slowly and sneakily at first and then it all adds up to a sense of dread that permeates the atmosphere.

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