Celluloid Screams 2013: The Top Short Films.
Similarly to my previous list discussing the feature films that stood out the most at this year’s Celluloid Screams, this list compiles together the most interesting and innovative shorts that were on offer at Sheffield’s Horror Festival. These are the views of Hayley’s Horror Reviews and once again don’t reflect the general outcome of the winning short films. Head over to http://scaredsheepless.com/ for more detailed reviews of Celluloid’s shorts.
6. Cat Sick Blues
- Directed By Dave Jackson
Cat Sick Blues is one of those strange yet compelling shorts that’s a bit out of the box. It begins with a young couple having a dispute on the beach. They are subsequently distracted from their argument by the presence of a homeless man, donning a cat mask. The man displays typical cat mannerisms and begins following them home. Cat Sick Blues takes a gory direction, but doesn’t let on where it’s actually going to go, ramping up the suspense throughout its ten minute run time. If there’s a moral to this story: Don’t trust Kitty!
5. Hell No
- Directed By Joe Nicolosi
Hell No is a humorous, crowd-pleasing critique of the codes and conventions of Horror Movies. The short film/ trailer spoofs what generations of fans have been screaming at cinema screens for years. It takes the concept of “What would happen in a Horror film if they featured smart characters who made sensible choices?” and explores it in a very quick-witted, entertaining way. Hell No satirizes the slasher and supernatural flicks.
- Directed by Robert Morgan
Invocation is a stop-motion animation crossed over with live action which already sets it apart and gives it its own uniqueness. A filmmaker unintentionally unleashes something nasty when attempting to create a film, focusing on a teddy bear. Very unnerving with an even gorier twist. Invocation offers something a little different.
3. The Root of the Problem
- Directed By Ryan Spindell
The Root of The Problem plays upon a very common fear for some, a visit to the Dentist. The short builds up tension very well and puts the viewer into the feeling of unease just like the female patient. There is a sense of apprehension throughout. A young housewife living in 1950’s Suburbia suspects there is something wrong with the local dentist, but is she simply paranoid? The Root of the Problem explores the tooth fairy mythology which hasn’t really had a decent on screen portrayal. With the makings of a supernatural thriller, The Root of the Problem has the potential to be developed into a feature.
2. The Body
- Directed by Paul Davis
Paul Davis new short The Body was eagerly-anticipated following the success of last year’s Him Indoors, surrounding the shenanigans of an agoraphobic serial killer. The Body is equally as twisted and well-crafted. It’s Halloween night and a Patrick Bateman-esque serial killer known as “The Man” uses Halloween Night to dispose of a body. Sounds straightforward enough? However on his way he meets a group of party-goers who delay his plans by admiring this “well made prop” he’s carrying around. Alfie Allen plays his murderer character straight while the other characters provide the comedy. Filled with irony, The Body is a high contender for the best horror short of 2013 with its comedic, yet dark humour and detailed set design and costumes.
- Directed by Isabel Peppard
If you’ve seen mine and Caitlyn’s video coverage of the festival, you will know that we cannot emphasize enough on how much we adored Isabel Peppard’s Butterflies. Filled with artistic and beautiful stop-motion animation, Butterflies tells a poignant tale about how true talent and art can be under-appreciated in favour of a more commercial and repetitive world that we live in. A young artist struggles to make money selling her drawings to passers-by, she encounters a businessman who offers her a paying job, designing greeting cards. Soon, her and those around her’s talents become suppressed and the new role threatens to destroy all her imagination, will she escape before its too late? With a stunning, gothic setting and animation so detailed and expressive, Butterflies tells a relatable story that effects many in society. Butterflies is a film I cannot recommend enough.
Claymania: The Films of Lee Hardcastle.
Another feature of Celluloid Screams 2013 was the showcase of talented claymator Lee Hardcastle’s work. Without the restriction of live action filmic techniques Lee Hardcastle’s stop-motion claymation goes all out with plenty of quirky story-telling and imagery, gore and typical British humour that appeals to a wide audience. Visit his Youtube Channel: to watch his latest short Ghost Burger, a sequel to T is for Toilet from the ABC’s of Death.
Hayley Alice Roberts.