The shorts that preceded the films at the 2015 Blood in the Snow Film Festival included mirror images, voodoo dolls, dark Christmas tales, and urban legends. Here is my rundown of the Blood in the Snow pre-film shorts.
Hank (Nelson Leis) is an art-dealer hosting a gallery opening. He chases after a thief who stole his tablet and comes face-to-face with his mirror self. Chiral begins by given the definition of the title, which is “An
object that is not identical to its mirror image.” That is the general crux of this short film and I thought that the execution of the short was pretty well done.
A young girl named Grace (Jena Skodje) and her dog Maverick knows what it takes to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Grace is film that is built entirely around the performance of child actress Jena Skodje as the titular character, which is actually quite excellent. Right when it seems like Grace might be in danger, she effectively turns the tables, leading to a satisfying and dark conclusion.
A woman performs a dark ceremony involving a voodoo doll. EGO NOXA is a quite dark and disturbing short, featuring the gory torment by the victim of this ceremony. In some ways, I would describe this film as “voodoo torture porn,” with there not really being any real plot to the film, other than this ceremony and the after effects.
Never Tear Us Apart
Two dudes come across a family of cannibals in the middle of the woods. Never Tear Us Apart is a darkly humorous short, featuring some well executed gore and a few nods towards bro culture. Also, the film has a very clever little twist towards the end.
O Christmas Tree
A group of Christmas carolers are invited in for cookies and cocoa by a kind old woman, who turns out to have much more sinister intentions. O Christmas Tree is a quite enjoyable and very darkly humorous holiday-themed horror short, which probably features one of the nicest psychopaths. I had a fun time with this one.
A woman gets reluctant revenge against her abusive husband. Crazy Love is frankly a bit of a messed up short, since it focuses on a woman conflicted by the fact that her husband abuses her, yet she still loves him. That said, the film does have an interesting resolution to this conflict.
And They Watched
A janitor of an execution chamber is tormented by ghosts of past victims. And They Watched is a bit of a morality tale, which questions capital punishment. There is some good make-up on the ghosts and the film features a simple two-word punchline, which throws this whole short into perspective.
A Tale of the Bonesetter
A woman and her son stay at a bed and breakfast and are warned about the vengeful ghost of a travelling healer. A Tale of the Bonesetter is a short film that seems to be setting up for a larger story. While this films works as a standalone piece, I could really see this short being expanded into a feature someday, which further expands on the mythology behind the Bonesetter