5 scary short films for Halloween

If you love horror shorts like me.. Halloween is the best time to watch some of the best disturbing, unsettling, spooky shorts from the past few years. Grab your safety blanket and dive in to the worlds of these absolutely unique directors!

Dog Food

When a butcher loses his dog, his life starts to unravel.

written and directed by Brian Crano [briancrano.com]

starring Cory Michael Smith | Amanda Seyfried | David Craig [iamdavidcraig.com]producer Michael Klein | executive producers Brian Crano | David Craig | Max Hurwitz
director of photography Adam Bricker [adambricker.com] editor Matthew Friedman

DOG FOOD was shot on location in New York and premiered at SXSW in March 2014. Subsequently the film played at thirty international film festivals, won best horror/thriller at Comic Con.

He Took His Skin Off For Me

The story of a man who takes his skin off for his girlfriend, and why it probably wasn’t the best idea…

Please turn off the lights. Use headphones. Go full screen. It’s worth it.

‘He Took His Skin Off For Me’ is a practical SFX fairytale. No CGI whatsoever. Based on the short story by Maria Hummer it is my grad film from the London Film School. It took myself and producer Fiona Lamptey 2 years, 217 Kickstarter backers and a whole lot of fake blood to pull off. SFX legend Colin Arthur (NeverEnding Story, 2001: A Space Odyssey) helped us achieve the impossible, allowing SFX Supervisor Jen Cardno and her team set a new standard for anatomical practical effects. Actor Sebastian Armesto (Anonymous, Pirates of the Caribbean) spent as long as 8hrs in makeup each day to bring this story to life. Alongside Anna Maguire (Saving Private Ryan, Parade’s End) they both give us something wonderful, horrible and completely unique. I don’t want to tell people what the film should be. Even finding a genre to describe it is difficult. I want people to come to this film just like I came to the original story, completely unprepared.

This House Has People In It by Alan Resnick

This House Has People In It is so much more than just the 12 minute source video, and I don’t mean there’s multiple installments. On its surface, this unsettling short appears to be about a teenage girl sinking through the kitchen floor on her brother’s birthday. But ultimately This House Has People In It is a two hour content journey about paranoia, disease, fetishization, and surveillance. You are the ultimate voyeur — not only watching recovered security footage of the incident but digging through archival photos, phone calls, and emails.

This Must Be The Place by Merlin Camozzi

This disturbing short by Merlin Camozzi is about pain and control. The protagonist, Bonnie, wants to join an urban witch haven, but the trials may be too much for her to handle.

“One thing the film explores is the idea of finding home within a group and what the costs of that can be,” Camozzi said in an interview with Directors Notes. “The other question that underlies the story, however, is about how power is used by those who have it.”

Camozzi explained that the spiritual inspiration for the short came from observing Trump’s presidency.

“That was just mind boggling to me. I mean, this is a guy who could do literally anything at this point, and the only two things he seemed to care about were servicing his own ego and lining his own pockets,” Camozzi said. “That led me to thinking about what powers this culty group of witches might have, and how they might use them. I thought it was interesting to give them what are essentially super powers, but have them use those powers for incredibly banal purposes, like robbing convenience stores.”

It Crawled In Through The Window by Isaac Ruth

This two-minute short by Isaac Ruth is about a sleeping couple awoken by something coming in through the window. Its tone is similar to a campfire story, with most of the action playing out in your imagination.

The acting in this is superb, with the leads Nicole Starrett and Mark Cosby completely owning the brief performance. As an added bonus, the minimal visual effects actually work in favor of the short’s atmosphere.

“I spend a lot of my professional life thinking up and searching for scary things, but it wasn’t until I was drifting off and was interrupted by a partner swearing she saw someone outside the window that I understood how unnerving it can be to be,” Ruth writes in the director’s notes. “It got me thinking that what scared me wasn’t that there might be someone out the window, it’s that someone I shared a bed with, someone I loved, was afraid.”