Horror Shorts [Grimmfest Review]: Easter’s Small Bites
Grimmfest always offers some amazing Horror shorts, including those that can be found on their Grimmfest TV channel. This festival has had Halloween covered for a long time with it’s October festival, but now it has seeped into the rest of the year also with it’s Xmas Horror Nights, Horror Legends Seasons and most recently it’s brand new Easter Edition. Chocolate eggs and hot-cross buns have now been replaced in our house with a new tradition, a long weekend of Horror premieres, Q&A’s and Short film programmes. It was a virtual event that made sure there was no boredom during the Easter lockdown with some great features and some brilliant short films. Here are five of the bitesize Horrors that left an impression on me.
Director: Ryan Kruger
Synopsis: In the neon-drenched near future, our anthropomorphic feline heroine Meow meets sleazy film producer Alan, who intends to have her at any cost. But his sadistic plans go bloodily awry.
If you have seen Ryan Kruger’s feature length debut Fried Barry then stylings of this provocative and experimental short will feel very familiar. Drenched in neon with pounding heartbeat scoring throughout this is a visually stunning piece based on the #MeToo movement and the predatory behaviour of men in power. It was somehow erotic and disturbing and definitely celebrated female power with it’s kitty protagonist and it’s beautiful end message.
You’re Dead Helen aka. ‘T’es morte Hélène’ (24mins12secs)
Director: Michiel Blanchart
Synopsis: Maxime lives in a relationship with the ghost of his girlfriend Hélène, who has just passed away. Wishing to put an end to this unbearable situation, Maxime finally decides to break up with her, but Hélène doesn’t seem ready to accept this.
Romantic comedy meets jump scare horror in this beautifully put together short film about a man unable to escape the ghost of his dead girlfriend. There’s an emotional core beneath the humour and haunting scares that makes it compelling to watch and ensures that the heartfelt ending will hit hard in a beautiful way.
Hey, It’s Me (11mins38secs)
Director: Courtney Sposato & Mark Sposato
Synopsis: A selfish man tries to alter his destiny when he receives an ominous phone call from his future self.
The future meets the past in this Sci-Fi horror morality tale. With a cynical protagonist, who seems unable to take any accountability for his actions, this short takes a dark twist on a familiar set up of what would you do if you knew the future. The production design and use of vibrant colours is beautiful, adding visual delight to the minimalism of this short and focusing on the strong performances that displays some of the worst in humanity.
Ad Lib (11mins6secs)
Director: Joseph Catté
Synopsis: Max and Julie are very much in love. Julie is rather jealous, but Max knows that nobody’s perfect – least of all, himself.
Ad Lib may start off like La La Land with music, dancing and a perfect yellow dress but it soon ends up in some very dark territory. The unique take of this short film using ‘Karaoke’ style subtitles throughout the dialogue that can be manipulated by the characters is incredibly smart and poignant to the meaning of the film. This portrait of an abusive relationship in which a woman’s words and voice is held against her is exquisitely shot and holds a deep and troubling message about romance.
Minimally Invasive (9mins56secs)
Director: Adam Harvey
Synopsis: An anxious patient fears his concerns are being ignored when his routine operation yields unexpected findings.
The idea of any form of surgery can feel invasive and truly terrifying which is why this darkly humorous body horror hits all the right notes. An awake man watches in terror as he is operated on and begins to notice something on the surgical camera that shouldn’t be inside of him. This short utilises sound design for it’s gross out gore with plenty of blood spatter and pained screams. The miracle of modern medicine seems horrific here.