By Prutha S. Patel (@PSPatel)
Making great use of Halloween Season, or as normal people call it, “October,” it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that there’s a horror film festival in Los Angeles every year called ScreamFestLA. Being one of the, if not the longest running horror film festival in the US, ScreamFestLA celebrated its 15th anniversary last year and I couldn’t have been more thrilled about attending the 16th this week. Although it ran for over a week this year, I was only able to attend one day. Despite being short on time, this one day introduced me to many neat short films. Having seen so many one day it ultimately felt like I’d walked out of the theater having seen over 10 different movies, how rad is that? Among the films, I did in fact find some to be genuinely shocking, creepy and/or strange, but there was one consistency – all of them featured plenty of talented people working together to create something unique for the horror genre. I definitely recommend reading up on the full slate of films featured during the festival and giving them all a shot. Even if you’re not a fan of horror films, there’s always a chance there’s something you’ll like in any one of them.
Before I go into some of the shorts from ScreamFest’s actual schedule, I have to take a moment to share the festival’s 2016 official promo that played prior to each block of films. It was pretty great seeing some classic genre staples in the official clip:
Alright, now on to some of the shorts that I was digging from 10/21/16:
The Babysitter Murders
Oh man, where to even begin with this one! There’s an escaped psychopath, the babysitter is at home alone, the kid being babysat has gone to bed already…and it just wouldn’t be a horror film unless it’s stormy outside, right? You got it. A fun throwback to many other slasher films, The Babysitter Murders was the one I could definitely see being turned into a full feature film one day. I’d watch it, that’s for sure. For more information, visit: http://www.trapdoorpictures.com/the-babysitter-murders.
It’s Friday evening, a gorgeous full moon’s set to be out in a bit and Ralph’s just gotten done with all his work for the day so he’s heading home to start his weekend. Sounds pretty normal, right? Nope, not so fast. Right when he’s about to head out, his boss comes in and drops a whole new box of work to be completed before he can leave. Unbeknownst to everyone at the office, that’s simply not going to work this week. He’s got mysterious plans, you see? Chains are involved. A fun Australian short, Overtime was described by Aaron Gelanane (Ralph) as being in the vein of Sean of the Dead’s style of humor, I personally couldn’t agree more. For more information visit: http://overtimeshortfilm.com/.
One of the darkest films of the day was a Turkish short by the name of Black Ring. Perhaps adding to the allure was the fact that there was essentially no dialogue in this one. Having such minimal dialogue, we’re forced to go on solely the visual and music cues. At times, your mind may attempt to fill in the blanks as best as possible, but you don’t actually know what’s happening until you see it. And for this one, it worked. I guess I’m the kind of viewer who loves when films and shows don’t quickly lay down all of their cards for us to see. It’s totally alright for the questions to be laid on thick, I’d just hope there was some sort of payoff on the backend when it gets to be a bit too heavy of a load to bear. And this short? Well, it did just that. For more information visit: https://screamfestla.com/2016/film/black-ring.
Interested in any of the above or others featured at this year’s ScreamFestLA? Be sure to visit the official site: screamfestla.com. We’re already excited about next year’s schedule, bring on the movies!
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