2016 was an incredible year for short form filmmaking. Many filmmakers offered unique, complex, homage filled and clever projects that took the viewers at film festivals on journeys into the dark corners of horror. It was truly astonishing to witness so many levels of filmmaking from diverse storytelling to crafted cinematography to heart racing scores to old school practical FX to themes and troupes molded into twisted new visions. Take some time and witness this filmmaking magic and visit film festivals to see the next generation of filmmakers who take the challenge of short form filmmaking and turn them into some of the best moments of your year! Thanks to INDIE MAC USER for posting this list of my ten favorites!
Written by Jay Kay
Based on true events surrounding the unexplained vanishing of hikers within The Ocala National Forest comes the cat and mouse thriller ONE NIGHT OF FEAR. Creating a snapshot of survival, brutality and raw emotion, this formulaic indie effort does not stray from the prototypical slasher/survival sub-genre of horror as it plays it straight, letting you know what could have happened to many of those unlucky souls out for experience in the deep and dark woods. This cautionary slaughter piece features horror performance by talent such as Jimmy Dempster (Regret), Jessica Sonneborn (The Haunting of Alice D) and Suzi Lorraine (Torment). ONE NIGHT OF FEAR does cater to a different side of the horror film fan; giving them tension, intent and brutality spread over a long road of survival. Continue reading
Review by Jay Kay
AND THEY WATCHED (2015) is Written and Directed by Vivian Lin.
We move through this world observing amazing and terrible things. We see sights that make us wonder, make us cope as well as struggle with the notion of good and evil. In the short film AND THEY WATCHED by Vivian Lin; we find that even in the service of those in pain, we learn that our ignorance can come back to haunt us. Inspired by the reinstatement of the electric chair in the state of Tennessee and an incredible part of the 2016 ETHERIA FILM NIGHT selections; we follow a janitor played by John Cianciolo completing his duties in a dark and dreadful hallway leading down to an execution chamber. This section of a prison is a grizzly reminder of the finality with this weapon of death just beyond the glass. As the janitor cleans the window, straightens up the rooms and takes meticulous care to clean the electric chair after the latest execution, through incredible use of light, tense score and eerie visual effects, we understand that something did not fully leave the chamber or this earth. With a production design mirroring the most effective and insidious ideas guiding the frights of a haunted house, we learn that a spirit has returned to re-create the injustice and terror with the one person who happens to be there not for any other reason than he was paid and he watched. Continue reading
Interview by Jay Kay (Host of Horror Happens radio show).
With the latest incarnation of HORROR CHANNEL’S FRIGHTFEST ready to consume and infect on London August 25th through 29th , the DISCOVERY STAGE will showcase a variety of genre features that continue to rule the film festival circuit! A part of that group of selected films and filmmakers is Kansas City madman Patrick Rea! Known for his short film work around the world including PILLOW FIGHT, A HOWL OF A GOOD TIME, COUNTER PARTS as well as the 2013 thriller NAILBITER; Rea will be presenting his latest feature called ENCLOSURE. This tense and supernatural tale of isolation focuses on a married couple and the choices that they must make as their camping trip falls under siege by a variation of what could be called monsters. We grabbed Rea in between film projects to talk about ENCLOSURE, micro filmmaking, connecting casting and of course playing at FRIGHTFEST!
“I think the ‘container’ horror film really gets my creative juices flowing, because we have to really work hard to keep things interesting for the audience. It’s not easy making a film like this, despite not having many locations. It actually becomes way more challenging to find ways to keep the audience engaged while being in primarily one place.”
By Jay Kay (Host of Horror Happens Radio Show)
We spoke to filmmakers Turner Stewart and Dionne Copeland about their first feature //CYBERPUNKZZ//!
“//CYBERPUNKZZ//” is a brave feature from a very talented group of filmmakers. After working on more than five short films including some very powerful and visual projects like “Computer Hearts” and “S.I.D.S.”, this seems like the natural progression. What made “//CYBERPUNKZZ//” the right first feature and where did this story idea come from of gangs, the internet, and freedom?
Turner: Making Punkzz as our first feature just makes sense. Actually, Computer Hearts was originally going to be feature-length but we cut it way down into the 20-minute version that everyone knows now, so going into our first feature this year feels like a natural and necessary progression. In a way Punkzz is sort of a conceptual sequel to Computer Hearts, with all the themes and style I explored in that film taken to the next level. I’ve been describing Punkzz as The Warriors meets Altered States, with a story and aesthetic filtered through the techno-body horror style seen in our previous work.
Dionne: Right now Turner and I actually have two feature film scripts that we’re itching to produce, the other one being a feature-length adaption of my recently completed short film, Inferno. The one that gets made first will honestly just come down to whichever one we can get the financing nailed down for. Both projects will make excellent feature films, and we’re just excited to start filming something Continue reading
The Horror Happens Radio Show hosted by Jay Kay and The Ghost celebrates WOMEN In Horror Month! The program welcomes more than 25 new women of horror including filmmakers, actresses, writers, makeup/FX, journalists, promoters, artists and more.
The conversational series will run for 6 Tuesdays straight (January 26th, February 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and March 1st), each of the episodes will be live on HGRNJ.org starting around 4:00 PM EST. Continue reading
Written by Jay Kay (host of Horror Happens Radio Show).
Many film production companies come and go. Whether it is lucky breaks, in front of the right pair eyes or picking up a camera saying and you are a filmmaker; you wait to see who will survive and who will sink in the ocean of horror short film.
Three names continue to rise in 2015 under the banner of LUCHAGORE PRODUCTIONS; comprising of Director/Writer/Actor Gigi Saul Guerrero, Assistant Director/Producer Raynor Shima and Cinematographer/Producer/Editor Luke Bramley. Continue reading
In a voyeuristic world that at any time someone could be watching you from your laptop, inside your car, from their window into your home perhaps even across a field comes the powerful tale of revenge, fear and dealing with guilt from FINAL DESTINATION and TAMARA scribe Jeffrey Reddick entitled the GOOD SAMARTIAN. Known for smart screenwriting that established one of the most successful film franchises in the last twenty years (FINAL DESTINATION series). Reddick takes the helm on this project writing and directing his first short film which focuses a sharp and dark eye on the news/multi-media spin machine’s perception of what is right and wrong in today’s society. The GOOD SAMARTIAN shows us the horror of a generation that would choose to not get involved rather than be able to help those in need. Continue reading
PILLOW FRIGHT is Written and Directed by Patrick Rea as a part of the anthology film FUN SIZE HORROR: VOLUME 2.
“I would say that one of my influences on PILLOW FRIGHT was Gremlins which I think does a great job of blending horror and comedy also “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”
– Patrick Rea