"Welcome to the serial killer podcast. Today we have something very exclusive." Holy hell this is insanely scary. Meet Jimmy is an excellent 7-minute horror short from Dutch filmmaker David-Jan Bronsgeest. It originally premiered in 2018 at the Nederlands Film Festival and it's finally available to watch online via Short of the Week. Jennifer is obsessed with a podcast about serial killer Jimmy Twofingers. As she's tuning in to listen to his confessions while she waits for her laundry, she realizes that the killer can hear her, too. Jimmy starts talking to her and warns her: if she stops listening, she will meet him in person. Now this is a much better modern reinvention of Ringu than any remake or sequel, playing with evil podcasts instead of VHS tapes. Starring Sem de Vlieger as Jennifer, and Jord Knotter as the voice of Jimmy. Luckily this already caught the eye of Hollywood, and a feature is in the works. The credits in this are also as creepy as any can be, perfectly capturing the vibe of the film. I'm always interested in innovative horror in short form.
"It's that perfect mixture of nurturing and pestering that I remember so well…" Never, ever look under the bed. You never know what might still be lurking under there… The Nurturing is a nice 7-minute horror short made by filmmaker Alex DiVincenzo, also known as the creator of Broke Horror Fan. "After an injury lands Daniel back in his childhood bedroom under the care of his loving mother, his adolescent fear returns to haunt him." The Nurturing features Anthony Gaudette, Marty Smith, and Hannah Fierman. This initially played as part of the virtual Nightstream Film Festival last year, and it's now available online. "I'm happy to make it available to everyone now, and I hope to get back on the festival circuit in person as soon as it's safe." Another slyly scary short that has made me never want to go near my childhood bed ever again.
"I don't care about our legacy." We're still a few years away from seeing Matt Reeves' The Batman (due out in 2022), in the meantime this short will definitely scratch your itch for extra Batman content. Batman: Dying is Easy is an impressive new fan-film made by the brothers Aaron and Sean Schoenke. The short pitch for it is: "Fan created. Professionally made. A psychological film about the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince." The short film is a dark psychological thriller about Batman and Joker, similar to that iconic scene in The Dark Knight when he grabs him in the police station prison. Kevin Porter stars as Batman, Aaron Schoenke as Joker, with Michael Madsen as Bullock, plus appearances by a few other Arkham Asylum regulars. The quality of this fan film is through the roof, and it just makes me more excited for The Batman.
"Get me down!" Uh, this is awesome!! Suspense is a fantastic 6-minute short film made by the Burghart Brothers, Jacob & Ben, who grew up making films on a farm in Kansas. Having survived a harrowing plane crash, a pilot finds himself suspended from a canopy of trees high above the forest floor by his parachute. He hears his co-pilot, but soon realizes that something is stalking him in the dark. It's a clever short film that takes place entirely in the "treetops" with this parachutist who is stuck hanging up there. And it's near perfectly realized, not only visually also the mysterious ambiguousness of it all. Jelani Talib stars as the stuck pilot, along with Robert Coppage III as his co-pilot. I'm seriously impressed by this and want to see more from these brothers soon. It reminds me of the opening sequence from the underrated WWII thriller Overlord. This initially premiered at last year's Fantasia Film Festival, and is now available to watch below.
"All we see are walls. But what these walls contain, all of our memories, what our parents passed down to us…" Still Here is a stunning short film directed by Taiwanese-American filmmaker Sean Wang, and it already won a Sundance Ignite award last year. It also was chosen as the Best Doc of the Year by one of our favorite sites Short of the Week, and they've just put it up on their YouTube to watch. "Still Here was filmed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in the village where my grandmother lived, my mother grew up, and where I spent my childhood summers," Sean explains. He returns to investigate why their village has been abandoned, and why they still decided to stay. It's a beautifully-shot, moving film that acts as rumination on gentrification and changes between generations. And how much stays the same. This is worth taking 10 minutes to watch.
"Let's get outta here!" Friends make all the difference in the world. Summer with Mrs. Von Mausch is a short film written & directed by David Pomes that's finally available online via Vimeo. This premiered years ago but can now be seen below and it's an amusing 14 minute watch. Molly Learner stars as Summer, a 13-year-old girl whose father is ill-prepared for his daughter's New York City visit - and for her developing an unlikely friendship with his eccentric next-door neighbor, played by Annie McGreevey. "With humor and poignancy, Summer with Mrs. Von Mausch is a timely yet timeless tale of moving past loneliness and isolation, as two entirely different women bridge the generation gap and affirm their individuality." The performances are a bit rough, but the film does have a fun Ferris Bueller's Day Off vibe to it at least. Enjoy.
"It's like they were trying to blend in." Check out this short film from animation filmmaker Joe Bennett, a strange animated trip into the world of Park Rangers. With an appearance by Bigfoot, too! Just wait until you see him. Derecho is a 10 minute short film, featured by Vimeo. It was originally presented by Cake on FX. As a slow building terror builds at a lonely park ranger outpost, two rangers are forced to test the limits of their humanity. Featuring the voices of Kate Berlant, John Early, Ted Travelstead, and Felipe di Poi Tamargo. The animation style is quite unique and it gets even better when the dashes of red show up. This is a must-watch-until-the-very-end short film, it all makes more sense once you get through it. Beware.
"You will do as told from now on." Take a trip back to the vibrant 1960s and white picket fence suburbia, when everything was alright, and no one was complaining? The Shift is a smart little sci-fi short film made by Italian filmmaker Francesco Calabrese that feels a lot like "Black Mirror" meets The Stepford Wives. This short originally premiered back in 2015, but Short of the Week has dug it up and re-posted it and since we're only catching up with it now - it's worth featuring and worth a quick watch (only 9 mins). An ordinary day in the suburbs turns out to be anything but when Joe comes home to find out that his wife Betty hasn't been cooking dinner. And there's a good reason for that. The Shift stars Ryan Welsh as Joe, and Molly C. Quinn as Betty, who looks a lot like Bryce Dallas Howard (at least in this film). Give this short a look below.
Onward and upward! Disney + Pixar have uploaded another of their SparkShorts to YouTube for everyone to view for free called Wind, written and directed by Edwin Chang, who usually works as in simulation at the studio. Pixar's SparkShorts program for experimental & innovative short films launched in 2019 and after posting half of them on YouTube, Disney stopped allowing them to be seen for free and saved the rest of them for Disney+ only. This short also debuted back in 2019 but is now available for YouTube viewing, along with this message: "Pixar Animation Studios and the SparkShorts filmmakers of Wind are in solidarity with the Asian and Asian American communities against Anti-Asian hate in all its forms. We are proud of the onscreen representation in this short and have decided to make it widely available, in celebration of what stories that feature Asian characters can do to promote inclusion everywhere." The story follows a boy and his grandmother as they try to escape from a dark chasm to a better life above. This one is a must watch.
"You won't be able to see it until it's about to hit." It's the end of the world as we know it… and I feel fine! How about some apocalyptic cinema to relax you? This short film Red Rover originally premiered in 2015, but is just now being featured online thanks to a feature from Short of the Week. It's written & directed by Australian filmmaker Brooke Goldfinch, who was inspired by the news of a cult predicting the end of the world, so she started asking her friends "how they would spend their final hours." It follows two teenagers from a remote religious community who head to town looking for others after their Evangelical parents tell them an asteroid will soon destroy the Earth. Starring Natalie Racoosin and Christopher M. Gray as Lauren and Conrad. This film is especially melancholic, but has a beautifully tragic ending that makes it all worth it. Low key filmmaking that is meant to make you think about what matters, rather than how it ends.
"Just send one of your teeth down the drain…" This is definitely one monster I do not ever want to meet… Milk Teeth is an award-winning 13-minute horror short film from Colombian-American filmmaker Felipe Vargas, who is making his way in the industry establishing himself with excellent shorts. This picked up a few awards at a few genre film festivals last year, and is now available to watch online. If you like monsters and stories set in orphanages, don't miss this one. An orphanage spirals into mayhem when a boy discovers a shadowy creature who comes to collect more than just the children's teeth. The short film stars Aaron Bradshaw as Thomas, who tries to user the monster for his own gain but goes a little too far. Impressed by the monster in here? "In the vein of the handcrafted effects of my favorite films, we developed elaborate teeth prosthesis and created the sink demon, entirely practically," Vargas says. So very creepy. View below.
"People are starting to rotate content with their fingers. Their fingers!" What happens when you're life is stuck in a infinite-loop? Eventually you're going to breakdown. Have Heart is a clever animated short film made by Scottish animator Will Anderson. It originally premiered in 2017 and is finally available online to watch. The story involves an animated gif that has a breakdown after realizing he is stuck doing the same thing over and over. The film's simplistic style and dry humor is reminiscent of the animation work of Don Hertzfeldt. The film addresses one of the most common problems in the job world nowadays - burnout. And on obsession with upward performance rather than satisfaction. Oh we all know the feeling… Click to watch.