Top 10 Scariest Short Films

Yes, Halloween was a whole four months ago, but in my opinion it’s never too later (or early?) to scare yourself into an entirely new sleep schedule. Want to try it out?

I’ve scoured the Internet to find some of the most frightening and shocking short films out there. I found lots of gems, but I somehow whittled the list down to my top ten. And without further ado, here they are.

10. Slash-in-the-Box

Why it Made the List

Slash-in-the-Box had some classic horror elements that we all know and love. Okay, maybe we don’t all love a jack-in-the-box. In fact, I hate them. But that’s why this short made the list. Not to mention the fake-outs that made me tense and then snicker.

The Downside

The reason Slash-in-the-Box made number ten is not only do I not appreciate typing out words with too many hyphens in them, but the film also used a few cliché elements that I didn’t quite appreciate. The baseball hopping down the stairs was also out of place. And why did wifey not notice the huge puddle of blood in the kitchen?

9. Red Balloon

Why it Made the List

Because it was creepy. Plain and simple. The little girl was creepy, the rain was creepy, the house was creepy, and the breathing stuffed bunny was creepy! The camera work was superb and it definitely had an amazing ending.

The Downside

The babysitting horror thing is slightly out of date at this point. Coupled with the cliché jump scare dream, the film did it’s job with the creepy factor, but failed in originality.

8. Cat with Hands

Why it Made the List

Why wouldn’t it make the list? The stop-motion animation was fantastic and it made me not want to hug my cat for once. And the distorted face at the end just did me in. The creepy atmosphere and close camera angles made me feel uncomfortable as well.

The Downside

I can see how the switch from live action to animation would bother some viewers. While I didn’t mind it, it may have been an okay piece with CG.

7. Befellows

Why it Made the List

The shear thought of seeing your significant other call you on the phone while you swore they were next to you in bed is enough dredge up a cute little chill in your soul. I could feel it ribbon up my spine while watching this one. Not to mention the director does amazing work showing the viewers what’s going on while the woman has no idea.

The Downside

I am not a fan of jump-scares. In fact, I hate them. If there’s a way a filmmaker can scare me in my head without making my heart skip a beat I will be one happy camper. But the jump factor was not necessary in this short film.

6. Don’t Move

Why it Made the List

Aside from some chilling CG going on, this film was as claustrophobic as they come. This, folks, is what happens when you try to mess with demons. Move an inch and this monster goes on a face-ripping spree. I love seeing idiots get what they deserve.

The Downside

In my opinion, the less shown the better. The first few times the viewer spots the demon, he’s nothing more than black smoke curling through the air. However, at about 3:54 you get a good look at its face and… I wasn’t impressed. I’ll admit the effect was done well, but it was simply shown way too often.

5. He Dies at the End

Why it Made the List

I am a sucker for long drawn out shots of random objects. And this was directed quite well. Plus, I loved the subtitles to keep us from constantly watching the computer screen. And the tension was very well-built throughout the entire film.

The Downside

The ending. That is all.

4. Victim

Why it Made the List

Students films are either notoriously artistic or horrifyingly so. This strikes a balance between both. I like the close-up in and out of focus shots at the beginning and the sense of unease is well within its limits.

The Downside

It’s obviously a student film. A few too many shots that try too hard to be artistic with an end that seems to fizzle out visually.

3. Sleepover

Why it Made the List

This short film combined horror and comedy in a great way. Plus, it did something horror directors rarely move into–it brutally murdered a child. I have no idea why, but it made me love this film even more. It was directed well and starred Josh Feldman (Insidious), so it had a higher than normal budget for a short film.

The Downside

Having actors you recognize in a horror film can sometimes be off-putting if it’s supposed to be in a run-of-the mill setting smack in the center of suburbia (unless it’s Paris Hilton).

2. Click

Why it Made the List

Aside from no questions being answered as to why there is no one else around and it seems these kids are on their own, this film is simply brilliant. The establishing shots are perfect and the viewer has a sense of camaraderie with the kids. The biggest factor to me, however, is the fact that the viewer sees nothing. No monsters, no ghosts, no nothing. It’s just darkness. And nothing’s scarier than not knowing. 

The Downside

It was a tad drawn out in spots where quicker shots would have been more effective.

1. One Last Dive

Why it Made the List

Obviously I’ve talked about this film before, but it is my number one because it just sets such a dynamic scene. The lighting and tension are perfect and the ending is shocking and scary. I can forgive the jump scare in this one because it was more realistic than simply being there for shock value.

The Downside

There isn’t one.

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