Friday, November 14, 2014

Review: Soulmate

Soulmate is an interesting film, though a bit deceptive. If you are expecting a tense, suspenseful ghost story, you would be better served looking elsewhere. What Soulmate does offer is an interesting, though occasionally flawed, examination of loss and grief.

The film opens with the attempted suicide of Audrey (Anna Walton), a recently widowed woman consumed by grief over the loss of her husband. She is saved by a family member, and after being released from the hospital, decides to stow away to a remote house in Wales. She hopes that the solitude will help her to pick up the pieces and find herself again. But she isn't in the house long before she begins hearing noises - footsteps and rustling in the locked third floor room lead her to believe someone may be living there in secret. A discussion with the landlords reveal the matter might not be that simple. The former owner of the house died under sudden circumstances many years ago, but the evidence at hand is indicating that he hasn't left the house at all.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: Mockingbird

Bryan Bernito first hit the scene in 2008 with the tension-filled home invasion film The Strangers. That taught, suspenseful piece of psychological terror left me scared to be home alone, distrusting of any and all persons unknown and eagerly anticipating his follow-up.

That follow-up comes in the form of Mockingbird, a film that is such a departure from The Strangers that it's practically impossible to believe that they came from the same artist. But the credits and IMDB assure me that it's true, so I guess I have to believe it. I sat down to Mockingbird with high hopes, but what follows, while an interesting premise, failed to deliver what I believe Bertino to be capable of.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review: VHS:Viral

 V/H/S: Viral is the third and final film in the horror anthology franchise. The premise of the series has been to bring together a group of up and coming horror directors and instruct them each to complete a short film in the found-footage style. Ti West, Eduardo Sanchez, Joe Swanberg, Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, along with others, have all participated across the series, and part three brings several new directors into the fold.

Nacho Vigalondo, Justin Benson, Aaron Moorehead, Gregg Bishop and Marcel Sarmiento all contribute stories to this new entry. Stories about an evil magician, about strange parallel worlds, about a mysterious disease that seems to be spreading through viral videos, and about a group of teenagers who head to Tijuana for a day of partying and skating, only to find something much more terrifying (insert obligatory donkey show joke here).

Friday, October 31, 2014

Horrorella's 31 Days of Halloween: 3:00AM

We made it! It's October 31st and our month-long horror celebration is complete!

Today's film is one that will definitely put a jump in your Halloween. "3:00AM" is a wonderful short that makes incredible use of its sound design. All too often in horror, sound is an abused element. It has the power to be a powerful building block for the execution of tension and effective scares. But we see time after time directors who just go the cheap route and throw in lazy jump scares rather than working to craft a truly scary situation.

In "3:00AM," director Lee Matthews skillfully uses some pretty freaky sound design to add to a very unsettling atmosphere. The simple premise of a woman alone in a house in the middle of the night becomes something altogether terrifying when you layer in the various sound elements at play. 

Watch it loud - trust me, it's worth it.

3:00AM from Lee Matthews on Vimeo.

Thanks for hanging out with me for short film funtimes over the past month! Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Horrorella's 31 Days of Halloween: Get Off My Porch

Today's short focuses on one of the most terrifying suburban legends - the Girl Scout. The man in this film is helplessly cornered in his home by these terrifying creatures when he refuses to buy a box of cookies. Seriously? Who does that?

Get Off My Porch from Patrick Rea on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Horrorella's 31 Days of Halloween: Treated

Nothing says Halloween more than the time-honored tradition of Trick-or-Treating, but somtimes it's not as safe as it seems.

Sometimes what appears to be the safest house on the block, with the nicest neighbors, is actually the one you should watch out for.

TREATED - a Halloween short film from Matteo Bernardini on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Horrorella's 31 Days of Halloween: Lights Out

Halloween is creeping closer and closer, and "Lights Out," is guaranteed to get you in the proper mood. A friend recommend this one to me and even though I watched this with my lights on, it still scared the living piss out of me.

It employs a great use of suspense and really taps into every fear you have ever had about being home alone and what else could be lurking in the shadows. Pull the covers up right for this one, kids!

Lights Out - Who's There Film Challenge (2013) from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.