DAY 4 | 2017 GH Oct. Short Horror Film Fest: ‘Phil·a·del·phi·a’ (2014)

DAY 4 | 2017 GH Oct. Short Horror Film Fest: ‘Phil·a·del·phi·a’ (2014)

Scene from Phil·a·del·phi·a (2014 short horror film)
Scene from Phil·a·del·phi·a (2014 short horror film)
Scene from Phil·a·del·phi·a (2014 short horror film)

31 days. 31 films.

WHAT’S ON THE MENU FOR ‘PHIL•A•DEL•PHI•A’: For our fourth day of the festival, time for a change in tone. Today’s selection is a wistful, evocative, elegiac invocation of a time after an apocalyptic invasion. The cinematography is gorgeous, the pace measured, the tone sombre and resigned. You won’t find any jump scares in this one. But you may find something deeper and more meaningful.

Two brothers strive to survive in an invaded world, looking for safety from sound-seeking extra-dimensional beings.

Phil·a·del·phi·a was written and directed by Broadway, and stars Chase Ramsay, J.J Shurbet, and Alvis Broadway. Pay close attention to Shurbet’s voiceover. It’s extraordinary, especially for an actor so young. Enjoy the ride. RUNTIME: 4:50


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DAY 3 | 2017 GH Oct. Short Horror Film Fest: ‘Where Is It’ (2017)

DAY 3 | 2017 GH Oct. Short Horror Film Fest: ‘Where Is It’ (2017)

Image from Where Is It (2017) horror short
Image from Where Is It (2017) horror short

31 days. 31 films.

WHAT’S ON THE MENU FOR ‘WHERE IS IT’: The proliferation of smartphones has made a serious impact on the horror genre. No longer can writers fully isolate characters without writing in some hackneyed “NO SIGNAL” cheat. Also, because the video quality has gotten quickly and drastically better, more and more horror films – in particular, horror shorts – are being shot on smartphones. Augmented Reality (AR) horror games superimpose horrific imagery over the live video your smartphone’s camera is capturing. But where smartphones are really making a mark is in the subject matter of the films themselves. Is it really healthy to be connected at all times? To be tethered to work concerns and home concerns without pause? To check for texts or social media updates dozens or even hundreds of times a day?

Which brings us to video chats, deployed to great effect in the mega-popular horror short Skypemare a few years back. (Yes, we know its Skype conversation was on a laptop rather than a smartphone, but the concept is the same.) And in today’s featured short, Where Is It, two friends converse via FaceTime – and things do not go well. It’s a cool exercise in filmmaking boundaries, since the entire story is told through a single, unbroken FaceTime session.

Where Is It is co-directed by Todd Spence and Zak White, and stars Whitney Gries, Travina Springer, and Patrick Keane. Next you break a mirror, make sure it isn’t coveted by… something. RUNTIME: 3:29


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Image from horror short Where Is It (2017)
DAY 2 | 2017 GH Oct. Short Horror Film Fest: ‘Sweet Tooth’ (2015)

DAY 2 | 2017 GH Oct. Short Horror Film Fest: ‘Sweet Tooth’ (2015)

Image from Sweet Tooth (2015) horror short
Image from Sweet Tooth (2015) horror short

31 days. 31 films.

WHAT’S ON THE MENU FOR ‘SWEET TOOTH’: Black humor suffuses this candy-colored take on a celebration gone horribly awry. Here’s the official synopsis:

When little Norman attends Duncan’s 11th birthday, he participates in a seemingly innocent game of Hit the Piñata.. But when his bat rips clear though the piñata and connects with the face of the spoiled birthday boy, he is surprised to find that candy, not blood, is spilling from the boy’s open wound. Much to the dismay of the unsuspecting party guests, this new discovery fills Norman with delight, for he is very, very hungry.

Michael Muchnij directed, co-wrote, and even created the score for this short, which clocks in just under five minutes. Enjoy the sugar rush.


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DAY 1 | 2017 GH Oct. Short Horror Film Fest: ‘Selfie From Hell’ (2015)

DAY 1 | 2017 GH Oct. Short Horror Film Fest: ‘Selfie From Hell’ (2015)

Image from Selfie from Hell (2015) horror short
Image from Selfie from Hell (2015) horror short

31 days. 31 films.

WHAT’S ON THE MENU: A brilliant addition to the growing family of smartphone-centric horror shorts, Selfie From Hell takes a simple premise and spins it into a highly effective horror short. In less than two minutes, it pulls the viewer into a baffling mystery with a violent outcome, paying off with one of the best jump scares in horror short history.

Erdal Ceylan wrote and directed this short, and Meelah Adams stars. Since being posted on YouTube in August 2015, Selfie from Hell has racked up more than 20 millions views and an impressive number of festival awards. In a twist paralleling Swedish director David F. Sandberg‘s viral success with 2013’s brilliant short Lights Out, Ceylan is currently finishing up post-production on a feature-length film based on the original short, with Adams returning as one of its stars. It’s slated for release sometime next year, and the inaugural trailer may be viewed below.


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Vengeance thriller ‘Tonight She Comes’ to make festival debut October 9th at UK’s GRIMMFEST

Vengeance thriller ‘Tonight She Comes’ to make festival debut October 9th at UK’s GRIMMFEST

TAGLINE: “Yesterday… she was chosen. At midnight… she was sacrificed. This morning… she was buried. But tonight… Tonight She Comes. Everyone else will die.

WHAT’S ON THE MENU: I really love the bold colors and stark lines of this poster, created especially for the Manchester, UK horror festival GrimmFest (AKA Grimm Up North), where this film debuts early next month. And the stylish, synth-drenched teaser trailer (see below) reveals very little, but sure looks cool as hell.

Here’s the official synopsis:

After a girl goes missing, two of her friends and a mysterious set of strangers find themselves drawn to the cabin in the woods where she disappeared. They will laugh, they will drink, they will kiss, they will make love, and THEY MUST ALL DIE.

Tonight She Comes was written, directed, and edited by Matt Stuertz. He previously directed the feature horror / sci-fi film RWD, created the Sixty Second Slashers anthology series, and directed Mindless, part of Bloody Disgusting’s World of Death horror short film curation.

The film features a pulse pounding synth score composed by Wojciech Golczewski (We Are Still Here, Beyond the Gates, Late Phases) and intense, hard hitting sound design by Shawn Duffy (Darling, Carnage Park). The special festival poster shown above was crreated by Marie Bergeron.

The cast includes Nathan Eswine, Larissa White, Jenna McDonald, Brock Russell, Cameisha Cotton, Dal Nicole, Adam Hartley, and Frankie Ray. Theatrical, DVD, and VOD release dates have not yet been announced.


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Syrian filmmaker wins CryptTV’s inaugural Emerging Artist Award for intense short ‘Hallway’

Syrian filmmaker wins CryptTV’s inaugural Emerging Artist Award for intense short ‘Hallway’

WHAT’S ON THE MENU: Back on June 11th, we ran a story about CryptTV’s very first Emerging Artist Award, to be presented at Texas’ Comicpalooza a week later. 22-year-old Syrian writer/director Issam Rayess won for his harrowing four-minute short Hallway – which you can now enjoy below. Besides bragging rights and elevated visibility in the genre community, the award also brings an exclusive CryptTV distribution deal.

According to Joshua Millican’s article in Horror Freak News,

Rayess, a Syrian national, is currently pursuing his BA at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. He created HALLWAY as part of a multi-media project; the University provided him with the hardware, and the short was filmed in an actual abandoned building without permits. For props and incidentals, Rayess spent about $50. The end result, though, is nothing short of spectacular; a chilling creeper that can go toe-to-toe with anything produced in Hollywood with big bucks.

Congratulations to Rayess, the first of what we expect will be a long line of CryptTV Emerging Artist Award recipients. Now let’s watch what he created:


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