Shorts Program #3
For Sickle's first contribution to coverage of the Mile High Horror Film Festival, I'll be covering the third installment of their shorts programs! This one had a few fantastic shorts I'll dive into below, providing recommendation on whether I'd track it down.
This short essentially boils down to a PSA that should screen ahead of any horror film that plays at an Alamo Drafthouse. If you don't like a movie, feel free to excuse yourself from the theater...Otherwise this might happen to you! Horror comedy at its finest.
A woman awakes to chanting coming from outside her home.
There is a very interesting concept on hand in this short, but there are moments where the execution is a little off. There was even a brief moment when I thought it was going to be some kind of satirical product placement/commercial gag. But it inevitably left me wanting to see it commit more intensely to the well-crafted narrative.
As mentioned in our preview for MHHFF, I had high expectations going into Sink, and it did not disappoint. The creative concept of telling a story with no words entirely from the vantage point above a bathroom sink...it was nothing short of brilliant. Of course, you have to execute, and that happens here. A clever use of lighting, body horror, and sound effects brings the whole thing together into a nice little horror bow.
Playing With Spiders
This short relied heavily on its performances, which didn't quite reach the level of its concept. There is a good balance of dark humor and macabre storytelling in play, and I could even see a feature-length build in this plot. The tackling of the choices made in a cult's endgame are on display and this short's perspective could materialize into something even greater.
While We Stayed Home
This is definitely the first surprise hit for me. A chance encounter at a crosswalk may sound mildly intriguing, but the execution of everything in this short is top-notch. There is a craftiness to its blend of dark comedy and horror, and everything is used to build the humor and tension simultaneously. The twist layering all the way back to the title of the short is worth noting, and the sound design is *chef's kiss*.
Dark scifi/fantasy has a home in the horror realm and Venus falls comfortably into that space. While I don't find it particularly original in its concept, the visual execution is something to behold, in particular the virtual world we are shown in the opening moments. There is plenty of homage to the cyberpunk aesthetic and films like Blade Runner and, say, Alita: Battle Angel. So if you're a fan of those pieces, you may find Venus right up your alley.
Stick around as we continue our coverage of MHHFF!