The shorts of day 3 were nothing short of enjoyable and thought-provoking. It was a well-rounded day, with pensive moments, effective scares, and smile-inducing humor. Let's dive right in:
Blight - This seemingly generic exorcism short turns into something more. I don't want to ruin anything further, but this short thoroughly exceeded its budget and concluded on a fantastic twist.
Curve - Perhaps my most anticipated short of the festival, Curve follows a woman who awakens stuck on a curved ledge that drops off into an abyss emitting ominous sounds. As she attempts an escape with every inching motion, the tension rises and holds until the short ends. And while one could argue that it ends too abruptly, I found the atmosphere quickly developed and sustained to be some of the most effective I've scene on film, let alone a short.
The Stylist - This short follows a stylist with lethal intent to resolve her desires. Starring Najara Townsend (award winner for Best Actress of Short Fuse: Horror Shorts at Fantastic Fest for her role in this short), the film spends a majority of its time on our stylist and her urge for the perfect hair to mask her imperfections. The film screams (pun intended) for a full length feature, which hopefully we'll get some day.
The Tunnel - This short follows a family that is returning to their home inside a massive dystopian city. On their way back, amidst a traffic jam-like density, they must travel through a tunnel, which consumes a portion of vehicles randomly for the sake of population control. The film tackles several moral conflicts in its limited runtime and is one that is great for discussion of what our future holds.
The Babysitter Murders - A satirical piece on the slasher genre (which is quite apparent from the beginning), this short was one of the most highly entertaining shorts of the festival, primarily because of its balance of humor and suspense. The very clever short boasts great acting and visually-effective directing that makes the short from beginning to end an ideal way to end a short block.
Flesh & Blood Shorts Block
Interior. Family. - This short played out in a similar vein to A Reasonable Request. The film is entirely a morbid conversation between a mother and father and their son. The subject matter, while presented in a dark humor format, is disturbing to say the least. While by no means graphic, the conversation is unsettling and memorable if for nothing more than discussion.
Hilde - This dark fantasy tale centers around a mother's love for her daughter and adolescence to young adulthood. It uses mild body horror transformations to drive the plot of the relationship between the mother and daughter. Its solemn tone pushes you down rather than carries you, but the piece was one of the most unique of this year's slate.
A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky - With a twisted and chaotic delivery of an incredibly dark and morbid plot, A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky was by far the most horrific of this block. The short follows a disturbed and paranoid man with a troubled past whose well-meaning isolation of his handicapped sister (from a childhood accident) leads him down a destructive path. The short's discomposing nature leaves an impact on the viewer that isn't easy to shake. An impressive tale of the trauma of guilt and its effect on those around you.