10 Chilling Horror Shorts to Binge Right Now

Not only are horror short films great for quick bursts of terror that don’t take much time away from busy schedules, but they’ve become a major platform for aspiring feature directors. Horror shorts don’t have to just be relegated to the month of October, either. While Hulu and Netflix both featured curated horror shorts in their overwhelming Halloween programming, there’s no wrong time to enjoy. Here are 10 great horror short films that elicit chills and thrills, and some that even make you laugh.


Mikus

Writer/directors Todd Spence and Zak White previously charmed with a spooky riff on nostalgic board game Mystery Date in Your Date is Here, but their latest horror short takes a very different approach to the horrors of childhood. In Mikus, Pete finds an old box of drawings and toys from his childhood. Pulling out a life-size cutout of his imaginary childhood friend prompts a huge grin, but that quickly fades when…well, you’ll see.


The Maiden

Director Michael Chaves is on the verge of becoming a big name in horror with The Curse of La Llorona and The Conjuring 3 on the way, and his horror short The Maiden is what put him on the map. The short takes a familiar haunted house setting and gives it a fresh spin with a unique perspective; a realtor that is willing to do what it takes to sell the house. Even with familiar tropes at play, that underlying dark humor bodes well for Chaves’ upcoming slate of horror.


Special Day

Director Teal Greyhavens and writer Nikolai von Keller turn a birthday party into the stuff of nightmares in Special Day. Emily’s 18th birthday celebration brings her family together for congratulations and cake, and a disturbing family secret too. This short has a great build up of tension, but more than that it delivers a unique mythology that leaves you wanting more.


Intruders

It didn’t take long for writer/director/producer Santiago Menghini’s latest horror short, Milk, to make its way through the film festival circuit before it was announced that James Wan would be producing a feature length adaptation. Before that was Intruders, Menchini’s stunning short that plays like an anthology connected by one sinister entity that wreaks havoc on a neighborhood. Menghini also handled some of the visual effects, further demonstrating this is one up and coming talent to keep our eyes on.


Whisper

This short is effective on the scares, but even more so if you happen to have an Echo or any smart speaker that’s behaved strangely before. It was recently announced that Amblin Partners was closing a deal to turn this short into a feature length film with its director, Julian Terry, to helm the movie. That’s not the only short of his to receive the feature length treatment either, as a full feature of his short They Hear It is also in the works.


Death Metal

Written and directed by Chris McInroy, this proves that not all horror shorts revolve around the scares. A metalhead receives a family heirloom in the form of a Satanic guitar, and immediately breaks all of the rules contingent upon its receipt. Its humor is only rivaled by the excessive gore and blood flow. So. Much. Blood. Play with the volume up.


Givertaker

This short by director Paul Gandersman and writer Peter S. Hall plays like a condensed episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? But a bit bleaker. An aspiring teen witch conducts a ritual to enact vengeance upon the girls she feels has wronged her. Horror teaches us many things, not least of which is to be careful what you wish for. Major bonus points for cool creature design.


Tickle Monster

Sometimes all it takes is 5 minutes to find effective horror in the most bizarre places. Tickle Monster, by writer/director Remi Weekes seems absolutely silly. Until it’s not. The less said the better about this one, except that it takes a crazy concept about tickling and turns it into something completely unexpected. It works.


Closet Space

By now everyone is familiar with Lights Out and the short that inspired it, but there’s a bunch of shorts that director David F. Sandberg filmed with his wife Lotta Losten that are worth bingeing. Closet Space changes up the effective jump scares for a little Twilight Zone inspired dark humor. Sandberg and Losten star as the couple that discovers a bizarre, microcosmic reality within the closet of their new apartment. The doll of the Lights Out apparition makes an appearance. Or two.


Overtime

This Australian short film by filmmakers Craig D. Foster and Emma McKenna also boasts creature effects by Odd Studio, who won an Oscar and BAFTA in 2016 for their outstanding special effects make-up in Mad Max: Fury Road. More importantly, this short is an absolute blast and feels like an episode of Tales from the Crypt. Poor Ralph is stuck working late at the office, but he really needs to make it home before nightfall if he wants to keep his secrets locked away.

Overtime – Australia, 2016

‘Working late is a killer!’

Overtime is a 2016 Australian comedy horror short film directed by Craig D. Foster from a screenplay co-written with Emma McKenna. The Metro Screen production stars Aaron Glenane, Ainslie Clouston, Arka Das and Adam Dunn.

Office worker Ralph (Aaron Glenane) is trying to avoid working late as the impending full moon will cause him to transform into a werewolf

After many successful festival screenings, Overtime is now available to view online via Vimeo.

Cast and characters:

  • Aaron Glenane … Ralph
  • Ainslie Clouston … Megan
  • Arka Das … Sean
  • Adam Dunn … Simon

More werewolves

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VIDEO NASTY Comic Book Writer Working on Feature Film Shocker OVERTIME

There are more horror movies based on comics and graphic novels than you might realize. Some examples include From Hell, 30 Days of Night, The Scribbler, The Crow, Constantine, and Hellboy among many, many others. Indeed, comic book universes can be terrifying and the writers and artists behind these creepers are an asset to genre filmmakers.

Mario Covone [pictured right] is the writer behind the comic series Video Nasty; set in 1983, it uses the backdrop of the Video Nasty movement in England to explore censorship and other hot-button issues. The actual Video Nasty list reads like a must-watch checklist for horror fans! We’re getting word today that the horror-minded auteur is now working ion his first feature film, a shocker called Overtime!

Here’s the full scoop from today’s press release:

Mario Covone, writer of 2014’s critically acclaimed Reaper Comics horror series, Video Nasty, will make his feature film directorial debut helming horror movie Overtime.

Overtime centers on a teacher working late into the night at school, seemingly alone. But a presence is watching him from the shadows. Stalked through the winding corridors and trapped within, a sinister secret holds the key to his survival.

No stranger to political subtext within his work, Covone’s movie, which he has also written, explores the real-world issues of violence in schools, and the dangers of media scaremongering, whilst maintaining a traditional horror backdrop with twists and turns aplenty.

The cast and creative team will be revealed soon, as will the poster artwork, being designed by horror industry legend Graham Humphreys. Humphreys also painted the covers for Covone’s Video Nasty comic book run.

After the success of Video Nasty, Britain’s biggest selling independent comic series of all time, Covone set up his production company, Miracle World Productions, which is producing the film, due to start shooting in Jan 2019.

Covone said today: “Comics will always be a passion of mine, both reading and creating. But I feel the urge to test my metal in a new medium, one that I’m equally passionate about”.

Are you a fan of horror comics? Have you read Video Nasty? Are you excited about Mario Covone’s Overtime? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

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