A Selection of Shorts from Sin City Horror Fest 2018 [Sin City Horror Fest 2018]

Sin City Horror Fest offered up short films by the bucketload and some rose up to the top for various reasons. Here is a selection of these from day 1 at the fest.

Once Bitten… (UK) (2018)
While on a trip, a young woman calls for assistance while staying at a hotel. The plumber sent may be a vampire? Writer Kevin T. Rogers and director Pete Tomkies create a short horror-comedy where Lauren Ashley Carter gets to have fun and show a less serious side of herself. Working with her on screen are Sir Dickie Benson and Garth Maunders, both bringing the right vibes to the short comedy. Once Bitten… is a short and sweet film of what-ifs and maybes where the most important thing is the light-hearted fun it brings in its short run time. It’s not meant to be taken very seriously but it is quite entertaining.

A Beautiful Place (USA) (2018)
A man at death’s door looks forward to its sweet release and going to a better place. When an angelic woman appears, he believes his wishes granted until things take a darker turn for him. Written by Genevieve Nylan and co-written by Matthew Vinaja with the latter directing as well, A Beautiful Place is a short with a lot to say and that does so rather well and with a good level of impact in its short run time. The most interesting part of the short story and film is the results that one expects at the end of their lives compared with what may really be coming for them. The short gives an impression that the lead is going to get what’s coming to him in an epic fashion, leading to a satisfying ending after the mid-part’s development. The cast is also a big part of the fun with Tony Moran as the dying man, Genevieve Nylen as the potential angel, and Robert Mukes rounding out the main cast. Horror fans will have fun spotting the genre regulars and viewers in general will enjoy the performances from each cast member. A Beautiful Place is a well-crafted short with a sense of its own logic and balance, making it both fun and satisfying to watch while also timely and entertaining.

Baba Yaga Origins (USA) (2017)
Witness the beginnings of the Russian evil witch and what pushed her over the edge. This short film from writers Ariel Erskine and Sean Pettis, directed by Pettis, is animated beautifully with a great attention to details. However, a very big trigger warning must be put in place for something that feels like it may not have been needed to be depicted in such detail and at length (at least for a short film). The idea could have been gotten across without the extended scene which feels odd and a bit rough for an animated film. That being said, the film is very well made and one of those that grabs the attention and doesn’t let go, no matter what is happening on the screen.

Cut Off (Australia) (2017)
A young woman wakes up missing a body part, what shall she do about it? In this super short short from a story by Helena Dodd and directed by Ryan Cauchi, the film stars Jessica Bell, the film is straight to the point once the character discovers what is going on with her. Her reaction is a nice critique of today’s society that may be a bit biting to some, but mostly funny to most. It’s short in a nice way and makes the most of its one location and one actress, Jessica Bell, who gives a fun performance that keeps things going and light.