We’re welcoming 2015 here at TYoH with a look back at some of our best posts of 2014. Tonight we’ll be spotlighting the top five scariest short films we featured in 2014 in our weekly horror short column, Friday Night Features. Let me know in the comments if I missed one of your 2014 favorites, and stay tuned for more year-end coverage over the next few days.
Based on a short story by prolific horror author Kealan Patrick Burke, this 2008 short was optioned for a feature length production with Mike Flanagan and the creative team behind Oculus. Peekers uses simple concepts and film-making techniques to create a nightmare world out of a sunny suburb that is becoming filled with disturbingly grinning strangers who wear the faces of those we know and love.
Most of you are likely familiar with the 1902 short story by W. W. Jacobs, The Monkey’s Paw, in which a magical talisman interprets a careless wish in the most frightfully literal way possible. In The Umbrella Factory, directed by Lexie Findarle and Nick Trivundz, this classic tale of fate, avarice and regret is given a creepy, yet darkly beautiful, animated spin.
This very NSFW 2010 short starts out innocently enough, but quickly moves from weird to deeply uncomfortable to horrifyingly nightmarish. The film’s viscerality and grotesque practical effects won To My Mother and Father Most Disturbing Short Film at the 2010 HP Lovecraft Festival and Best Lovecraftian Short Film at Sydney’s 2011 A Night of Horror film fest, and earned it a spot as #3 on our scariest features of 2014.
2. Off Season
Written and directed by Jonathan Van Tulleken, Off Season introduces us to a man and his dog surviving off what they can pilfer from empty cabins in the frigid wilds of Canada. An atmospheric score and achingly lovely cinematography create a marvelous sense of slow-burn tension and loneliness, setting the scene for a gruesome discovery at one forlorn cabin.
1. Lights Out
Although horror shorts are generally something of a niche affair, occasionally one will cross into mainstream popularity as viewers are blown away by how much of a scare can be packed into just a few minutes. Lights Out was 2014’s breakout hit, an outstandingly creepy little film now part of a trilogy of horror shorts by David F. Sandberg. Although the other films in the series are worth watching, nothing beats Lights Out for sheer watch-through-your-fingers terror of what horrors move in the darkness after the lights go out.
Looking for more horror to start off 2015? You can check out last year’s top 5 horror shorts here, or access the complete Friday Night Features archive for over 100 horror short films to watch for free online now!
Categories: Friday Night Features