Horror films are designed to frighten us, get our pulse racing, cause dread and alarm, and invoke our hidden worst fears, often in a terrifying, shocking finale, while captivating and entertaining us at the same time. Horror films directly focus on the darker side of our feelings, they deal with our nightmares, our most primal nature and terror of the unknown. They conduct our emotions to make us jump, scream and often laugh hence why it is said that we feel the same emotions when frightened as we do when we are happy.
Horror writer and directors can easily just follow the same old format and not stray too far from a tried and tested formula, just think how many slasher films you’ve seen that feel like watching Halloween but Michael Myers is sporting a new mask. Of course that’s not to say if it’s not broken then don’t try to fix it, however it’s refreshing to experience innovative new approaches to the genre. Enter the short film.
Unlike the a conventional horror film which is usually broken in to three sections, the beginning, the middle and the end, spread over 60, 90 minutes or more. The short film is restricted to less than 10 minutes (not a rule), often a little more which herein lies the challenge to scare the viewer in limited time restraints.
We have selected ten short horror films we feel execute a fresh approach to the horror genre with some becoming feature length films produced from the like Guillermo Del Toro. The list has compiled in no particular order and simply based on their effectiveness to tell a story in such a short amount of time.
Simply search YouTube for ‘Short Horror Films’ and you’ll find hundreds of mini-masterpieces at your fingertips to enjoy for free. Happy hunting!
1. Lights Out, 2013 (2:41)
2. The Smiling Man, 2015 (6:21)
3. Mikus, 2017 (3:42)
4. The Birch, 2017 (4:42)
5. Blackout, 2015 (5:10)
6. Luna, 2013 (11:34)
7. Tuck Me In, 2014 (1:00)
8. He Took His Skin Off For Me, 2014 (11:21)
9. Mama, 2008 (2:43)
10. Intruders, 2014 (9:32)