Here is coverage of Mile High Horror Film Festival's Shorts Program #4, which may very well be the most well-rounded and overall impressive shorts block of the festival so far!
The Thing That Ate The Birds
An estranged husband tries to figure out what is happening to the birds on their land.
For some reason, I got the impression that this short was going to be subtle and ambiguous, but it turned out to be far more visceral and direct. The creature design isn't the most creative thing brought to the screen, but the atmospheric and solemn tension that builds gives more realism to the creature's presence. A great short.
Life in a Box
Perhaps I am projecting, but this short about a lonely young man with an obsession for claw machine games carries some dark catharsis for those whose personalities have an intense introverted nature. His solitary existence parallels the confinement of the games he loves to play, inevitably leading to the horrific conclusion of this effective short.
A woman awakes in the middle of the night to find her hearing gone and begins to wander the woods for help.
It's strange that a short with a title like this wouldn't have much humor to it at all, if any. Sometimes ambiguity in horror can make the fright stronger, and sometimes it dilutes it. In this case, for me, the ending diluted the build of tension. There wasn't enough of a foothold on understanding to allow my mind to take the extra steps on its own.
Perhaps the most unsettling short yet, this story follows a disturbed boy who struggles with a bully. While I feel the short ends in a seemingly abrupt way (almost like it was the opening credits to a feature-length movie), it is certainly engaging and most definitely squirm-inducing.
Naguel: The Sin Eater
Two men in the old west run into a nun in the middle of nowhere after a botched robbery.
I tend to not like longer runtimes in short films, but Naguel was certainly an exception. The horror-western has good acting, great writing, and is well executed from a technical standpoint. The story was interesting and well told, properly filling its runtime without abusing it.
A horror-comedy short that does a great job of tackling the 80s slasher. While this concept has been worked to death and this short doesn't necessarily break the mold, it is very well executed across the board and highly entertaining from start to finish.
Check in tomorrow for more coverage of MHHFF!