Happy Women in Horror Month! I’m very excited to celebrate women short horror directors with so many movies that I can’t fit them all into one post. That’s why over the next week you’ll be getting not one, not two, but THREE batches of short horror films from some extremely talented women film makers. For this first round, we get a mother/daughter relationship fraught with tension, a moody music video, a lesson in proper reptile ownership, and more. Enjoy!
Blood Runs Down (2018)
Length: 17 minutes Director: Zandashe Brown Starring: Idella Johnson, Farrah Martin
Loss is a scary thing for anyone to deal with, but for a little girl it can be downright terrifying. Such is the case for the little Ana in Zandashe Brown’s short film, who’s mother Elise seems to be changing in some pretty drastic ways. Brown makes great use of light and shadow to give the film an eerie, haunting feel and Idella Johnson bounces back and forth between sympathetic and menacing in ways that jars the audience as much as it does Farrah Martin’s Ana. It’s a somber movie that will likely stay with you for a while after the credits roll.
Where you can find it: Streaming on AfrolandTV
Length: 5 minutes Director: Lucy Swope & Sean Dack Starring: Lucy Swope
Director and musician Lucy Swope combines two talents as she directs and stars in this funky, dark music video for her band GHOST COP. The video, like the song, is beautiful and trance-inducing while hinting at something sinister. Swope’s protagonist seems to anxious to get away (or to) something that we never see but can feel doesn’t come with the best of intentions. It’s a trippy experience all around and a lot of fun.
Where you can find it: Streaming on YouTube
Length: 15 minutes Director: Ashley George Starring: Ruth Ramos, Cesar Mijangos, Daniel Fuentes Lobos
When a young woman is sexually assaulted by one of her brother’s friends, her trauma is compounded by the fact that no one, particularly her brother, seems willing to do anything about it. So she takes matters into her own hands with some friends and a touch of the supernatural that won’t leave anyone involved safe. This one isn’t an easy watch, but it’s very well done and definitely worth a look.
Where you can find it: Making the festival rounds. Check out the film’s Facebook site for updates.
Reptile House (2020)
Length: 5 minutes Director: Tristan Risk Starring: Sharai Rewels, Jesse Inocalla
Last year Tristan Risk stepped behind the camera for the first time in a delightfully silly short Parlour Tricks. For her second directorial outing, Risk dives into a topic very near and dear to her heart: snakes. When a man visits an off-the-books reptile house looking for a new pet, his ignorance on how to care for snakes really seems to agitate the store’s proprietor. Risk weaves in quite a bit of educational material about snakes and reptiles in general as she builds to a climax that would feel right at home in a Tales from the Crypt vignette. We get to learn and cringe all at the same time!
Where you can find it: Making the festival rounds. Check out Risk’s website for updates.
Length: 9 minutes Director: Kourtnea Hogan Starring: Josh Schaefer, Jessica Kessler, Kait Bredin
This is the movie you want to watch when you’re ready to get weird. Things start off normally enough, with a man picking up a woman at a bar. We soon realize she’s the one doing the picking up, however, as she drives him to a local, seedy hotel and things take a turn. This film is all about the visuals, with beautiful images of blooming flora interspersed with, well…let’s just say images that aren’t quite so beautiful. It’s a bizarre film with some delightfully over-the-top effects.
Where you can find it: Streaming on YouTube
The Old Woman Who Hid Her Fear Under the Stairs (2018)
Length: 16 minutes Director: Faye Jackson Starring: Sara Kestelman, Alice Offley
As a general rule, few people enjoy experiencing fear (present readership excluded). For the woman in Faye Jackson’s short, fear has taken over her life, making it impossible to watch television or read the paper without cowering in her apartment. So when an online search for “Fear” leads her to a website promising a way to pluck her fear out of her forever, she jumps at the chance even as she smells a scam. Surprisingly, the process is successful, but we soon find out that simply removing all of our fear can be a double-edged sword, and that ultimately fear is a necessary emotion.
Where you can find it: Streaming on Vimeo