Here are my thoughts on the films that played as part of the 2018 Toronto After Dark International Short Film Showcase.
A police officer gets a little trigger happy on a call, but quickly finds out that his crime cannot be covered up that easily. Structured as a found footage film, recorded from the police officer’s body camera, Trespass is smart and creepy piece of POV horror.
A Death Story Called GIRL
We follow the day in the life of a bloodthirsty young woman. If there is a word I have to describe A Death Story Called GIRL, it is weird. The film moves from upbeat to sinister on a dime and builds up to its bloody ending.
In a post-apocalyptic world, aliens have taken over the world and a small group of cybernetically enhanced survivors set out to reclaim their planet. Shift is a quite well made Australian-produced science fiction short, co-staring actress Bianca Bradey (Wyrmwood). Obviously meant to set up a larger project down the road, Shift does a pretty good job at building up this new world.
The fragility of life is examined in a mysterious greenhouse. There isn’t all that much to grasp onto in Preri Foon, other than the final reveal that this film is taking place in a much bigger world than it initially appears.
The World Over
A woman finds a key in her house, which unlocks a door to an alternate reality. While playing with the concept of parallel universes is nothing new, The World Over is quite well executed, with some interesting twists and turns.
The Blue Door
A hospice nurse comes to care for a sick old woman and discovers a mysterious blue door, with something trying to come through. The Blue Door is a film with a relatively simple concept that builds up to its final reveal. I have nothing really more to say about this one.
A father tries to convince his father that there is nothing to be scared of in a dark corridor. While it is easy to predict where the plot of 9 Steps is going to end up, the film is still a fairly effective little chiller.
Two rivals play an incredibly competitive video game. PvP is a very glossy and entertaining short film that combines arcade video games with real martial arts fighting. This is definitely a fun one to watch.
An alley cat is taken in by an old man in a living situation too good to be true. Los Gatos is a very bleak animated tale that nearly had me in tears with its depictions of animal cruelty. While the film is apparently meant as a metaphor about finding comfort in abuse, this is not a short film I ever expect to watch again.