Here are my thoughts on the films that played during this year’s Blood in the Snow Short Film Showcase (with an obvious exception of course).
On an episode of Poppy Seed Place, Anna (Tiffany Hunter) demonstrates to Ellery (D. Campbell MacKinlay) her twisted meaning of fun. In many says, Fun can be seen as a spiritual sequel of sorts to director Greg Kovacs’ 2013 short film Tasha and Friends, as he once again explores the dark side of children’s programming. Fun has a very twisted dark sense of humour to it and is quite entertaining to watch.
Even the Darkness Has Arms
A man wakes up in the middle of the night and is haunted by the manifestation of his fears. Director Chris Bovota based Even the Darkness Has Arms on his experiences with sleep paralysis, which often involves seeing figures in your bedroom at night. However, it is hard to fully grasp that concept watching the film blind, especially since the film is over before it lets what happens sink it. However, it’s still well produced with a well-designed creature.
A husband and wife has a very competitive round of a crossword game. Letters has the relatively simple premise of “What if the words you spell in Scrabble come to life?” The film is built around the protagonists cynical narration and the plot’s sinister overtones, which makes Letters an entertaining watch.
The One I Adore
A woman stalks a couple and goes to extreme measures to recover a lost love. Told completely without dialogue, The One I Adore is build around a beautiful and melancholy score that heavily contrasts with sinister actions of the female protagonist. The One I Adore is incredibly well done.
A man receives an link in his e-mail that leads to when appears to be a snuff film. When a button appears asking to click to see what happens next, it leads to a serious moral decision. Don’t Click is a darkly humorous cautionary tale advising you to be careful before you click links on the internet.
Behind the Curtain
A monstrous creature stalks a woman at night. Behind the Curtain is one of the more atmospheric shorts in the line-up this year, with a lot of creepy humming and green slime.
A group of hicks have been using a time machine in the woods to make and hunt copies of each other. Timebox tackles the question of what you would do if you found a time machine in the woods. While most would try to use time travel to get rich quick, the characters in this film opted to make copies of themselves for sport hunting. Timebox is an interesting film about clean-up job turned twisted game.
Something terrorizes a woman at night. The Hag is probably the most atmospheric and scary films of this group of short films. With a very heavy use of shadow, you can barely see the titular Hag, which only serves to make things more terrifying.
A hunter (Mathias Retamal) awakes in swampy woodland and tracks down a nearby beast. Bestia is the latest short film from director Gigi Saul Guerrero and the people at Luchagore Productions. Admittedly, I’ve had a mixed response to the previous Luchagore films, which are typically grimy and gory shock fests. However, Gigi Saul Guerrero shoots on location for Bestia and the result is a short film that can be best described as a horror version of The Revenant. Well done.
I Make Corpses
A serial killer describes how much easier his job is during a zombie apocalypse. I Make Corpses is a very tongue-in-cheek mockumentary that essentially combines zombie and slasher films. The film is essentially just building up to a, not too surprising punchline, but is pretty well done.
Residential school Jacob Wematim (Julian Black Antelope) struggles to remain on his ancestral homeland and calls upon the help of the Wendigo (Wilma Pelly). Inspired on a true case from the 1800s, Consume is a genre-tinged drama that tackles the plight of the First Nations people, while also featuring some supernatural horror elements. While there is very little on screen horror, the things that Jacob resorts himself to are quite horrific and the film leaves you thinking about his motivations.