I love horror movies. But being a dad with small children, I don’t necessarily have the time to watch a ninety minute movie without some kid walking in at the absolute worst moment. So, if you’re like me, you’ve got about an hour of “quiet” time a day to watch something that doesn’t star an animated talking mouse that somehow owns forty nine percent of everything else on TV. So here is my list of the top five horror short in under an hour.
2 AM: The Smiling Man
Taking inspiration from a Seattle-born urban legend, this film gives us the plight of a man walking aimlessly down the street that is confronted by some kind of Jim Carrey demon (aka the worst kind) dancing a waltz all by himself. If that wasn’t creepy enough, add to that the fact that Jim just keeps following our nameless protagonist down the road and you’ve got a film that is instantly relatable to everyone. We’ve all seen someone creepy walking the street, now imagine if said creepy loner started following you(!).
This short follows a young woman suffering from Insomnia. While we don’t know how long she’s been this way, it becomes obvious from the start that the source of her plight is stress-induced, as she starts having dreams of her younger sister. A sister that ran away from home at an early age because of some type of abuse. What I love about this film is the fact that the subject is something I know a little bit about. While I’m not diagnosing myself with anything (the internet does not replace a degree), as I get older, it is harder and harder for me to get a full nights rest. But seeing how sleepless night could effect someone’s day is downright scary when you consider how helpless we can be due to our own bodily functions being off.
Written and directed by Neil Blomkamp and starring Dakota Fanning, this sci fi horror short shows a synthetic human surviving on a mining colony against the elements, zero resources and a massive, bloodthirsty creature out for…well, blood. The real winner of this film is the design of the creature itself. While it’s not overtly explained, the creature seems to be of alien origin and is made of of the dozens of dead bodies it has amassed before the film. Not only does this creature contain, I’m gonna guess a hundred hands and about seventy one elbows, but also the collective knowledge of it’s kills. Meaning it knows every hiding spot and escape play our hero can think of. This film is probably the best one on the list and it demands your full attention.
From the director of Shazam (seriously) comes another example about how the dark sucks and it wants you to die. Seriously, I already have enough trouble trying to sleep and this isn’t making my nights any easier for me. All the main character wants to do here is go to bed but a shape of some kind keeps appearing every time the lights go off. This short proved so popular that it actually inspired a feature film from the same director and cast that came out back in 2016. While I don’t want to rank all of the movies from “worst” to “best”…yeah, this one is the best. Enjoy.
Never Hike Alone
Lawsuit be damned, Jason Voorhees is back with arguably the best film not in his franchise. The movie shows off the exploits of vlogger Kyle McLeod as he accidentally stumbles across the infamous Camp Crystal Lake. There isn’t much I can say about this film that hasn’t already been said, but I feel that giving Jason a single person to hunt down is a refreshing change of pace to virtually any film in the entire slasher genre, and it also makes you root for Kyle as the viewers already know how screwed he is. Also, I have to give respect to Jason actor and director Vincente Disanti for nailing Jason’s presence on film. You really feel like Kyle might not make it out and it’s arguable that he doesn’t.