With nearly 100 short horror films in our Friday Night Features vault, we’ve covered almost every variety of short horror around in the last two years. Everything, that is, except a real sci-fi horror short in the tradition of Alien or The Thing. Perhaps it’s because independent shorts typically lack the budget required for substantial practical or CGI effects to bring a writhing alien threat to properly horrific life.
In the 2012 short Vessel, creator Clark Baker solved this issue by successfully crowdfunding part of his film budget via Kickstarter. With a script by the Duffer Brothers (who have a feature-length horror flick with Alexander Skarsgard due out later this year), the effects are perhaps overly ambitious at times, but the direction, composition, and atmosphere are all remarkably effective for a 13 minute independent film. Small wonder that Vessel was quickly picked up for a feature-length treatment by Paramount, and while I haven’t seen any recent news on what’s happening with the longer version, the short is more than worth a few watches in the interim. Enjoy!