There has been a great deal of dissatisfaction with feature-length horror films lately. Hundreds are released every year and the number of good ones can be counted on one disembodied hand. As a viewer, we want to be scared. We want terror. But most of all, we would like some originality. Many of today’s films bear the moniker “Part 3” or “Part 6”. It would be fine if the first couple of parts were any good.
Don’t believe me?
Four words…“Human Centipede Part 3.”
You can stop shaking now.
Yet, here you are, kissing good money goodbye and feeding an already morbidly obese box office. Why are you doing that when the answer is right there at your keyboard. Yes, the Internet.
I am going to be 56 years old this year. I am someone who most Millenniums believe have no skills when it comes to tech. In some cases, that’s true. I did select the smart phone that I now use solely based on its ability to take good pictures. It’s the shutterbug in me.
But the Internet…what a great invention! The things you can find! There is information here that took me hours to find in a library. I do family trees as a hobby. Before the Internet, I spent days in the National Archives office in downtown Philly going through reel after reel of microfilm, searching for ancestors. Now, I type in a few words and I can find anyone!
I’ve gotten a bit off-topic.
What I am proposing is an examination of the myriad of short films that populate the Internet. Often, they are better than anything that you pay for at the cinema. They take up less of your time and often pack more of a punch.
My plan is simple. Each article will take a letter of the alphabet (in order) and present a number of short films for your consideration. My hope is threefold. First, I hope to show that horror movies are not dead, but alive and pulsating on the Internet. Second, to inspire you, the reader, to go forth and find the gems that are out there. Third, I hope that Sue Grafton won’t sue me for using her technique for titling.
Some points to make first.
A short film, by definition, is less than 45 minutes. Over that, it is considered a feature.
All films will be, what I deem, legitimate. By that I mean, they are listed on imdb.com. IMDB is “The Word” and the final arbitrator of what is real and what is not real. Yes, they are the supreme being everyone is looking for.
The films will range from 1890 to 2016. There will be silent films. There will be subtitles, lots of subtitles. There will be subjects that will make you uncomfortable, as some of the horror is real (You’ll understand soon). But I will do my level best to give you an alternative to the pabulum that you find in that dark room with the sticky floor where everyone talks on their cell phone.
All information regarding credits and awards has been supplied by IMDB,VIMEO, and YouTube.
So without further ado, here are five short films, all beginning with today’s featured letter “A”, for your consideration.
Let’s start with some Animation. I love Animation.
In “Alma”, a little girl takes a walk down the street and finds a toy shop filled with all kinds of dolls. Just the place for a child to play. And, what luck, the door is open!
“Alma” is from Spain and was made in 2009. It was written and directed by Rodrigo Blaas, who is currently an animator at Pixar. It received the award for Best Animation at the 2009 L.A. Shorts Fest.
ANGER OF THE DEAD
Zombies are always fun. In “Anger of the Dead”, we find that the dead are not the only threat when the Zombie Apocalypse begins. This film is violent and likely better than “World War Z” (I refused to see the film. I did read the book.) (Oh, yeah, “World War Z 2” is in the works).
“Anger of the Dead” is from Italy and was made in 2013. It was written, directed and produced by Francesco Picone, who has turned this into a feature, which was released in 2015. It should be noted that in Europe, a filmmaker is often required to produce a short version of a film they wish to make into a feature. Sometimes, American filmmakers do the same thing. If you look hard enough, you can find the original short versions of films like “Saw”, “Nine”, “The Evil Dead” and “Excision.”
Marc Roussel from Canada is one of my favorite filmmakers. His shorts are always unusual, sometimes subtle, and often terrifying. “Alchemy” is one of his shorter, lighter features. It puts an interesting spin on cell phones.
“Alchemy” was produced in 2007 and was his second film. And, yes, it’s more fantasy than horror. You’re going to need the happy thoughts to tide you through the next short.
This film is very disturbing. But like any good train wreck, you may have a hard time looking away. Please stay to the end, as there is a final punch to the gut that makes this film just that much more.
ATTACK OF THE BRAINSUCKER
“Attack of the Brainsucker” is a 2012 Canadian film that didn’t see a US release until 2015. It is written and directed by Sid Zanforlin. There really isn’t much to say after that.
“Alexia” is dead, but her web page lives on. Today would have been her birthday and her ex-boyfriend is seeing all the posts from her family, who all miss her.
“Alexia” is from Argentina and was released in 2013. It was written and directed by Andres Borghi.
Yes, there is not a single film here from the US. I noticed that too. Don’t worry. There will be some, but I will do my best to span the globe in search of the horrifying.