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Short Cuts: The Horror Short Film Round Up for December

Thursday, December 27, 2018 | Short Films

By BRYAN CHRISTOPHER (@eviltaylorhicks)

Happy holidays to those celebrating this season, and happy December to those who couldn’t give a rats ass.  Most of the movies featured in this month’s installment are courtesy of the Blood in the Snow Film Festival, an event that showcases some of the most varied and interesting horror shorts and features that Canada has to offer.  They just had another successful event last month, and a Spring Tour is planned for 2019 so check it out if they’re coming your way! 

Frostbite (2018)
Length: 5 minutes Directed &Starring: Students/Teachers of the Kaw Tay Whee School
When you watch this movie, your first thought may be, “Geez, was this made by a bunch of kids?”  Well, yes, it was made by the students at a school in the Northwest Territory, so stop being a dick about it.  When a group of kids go out into the frozen land around their school, those that don’t dress appropriately start getting picked off by the evil (and adorably fuzzy) monster known as Frostbite.  Essentially, it works as horror film and a PSA on the importance of bundling up when you go outside in the Northwest Territory.  It’s pretty damn adorable.  I mean scary. 
Where to find it:  Vimeo

Santa’s Helper (2018)
Length: 10 minutes Director:  Alex Hatz Starring: Ken Hall, Zoe Hatz
The only true Christmas movie in this month’s batch of films, “Santa’s Helper” is sort of a Bad Santa for the horror crowd.  When a little girl looking to trap Santa instead captures one of his beleaguered elves, we’re reminded that deep down most kids are frightening little sociopaths who will do anything to get back on Santa’s good list.  It’s a quirky dark comedy with some laughs but also plenty of bite. 
Where to find it:  Making the festival rounds.

That’s Not Me (2018)
Length: 10 minutes Director:  Charlie Hamilton Starring: AJ Edmonds, Victoria Urquhart
With “That’s Not Me,” writer/director Charlie Hamilton taps into that fear of the familiar suddenly becoming foreign and threatening.  When a woman named Katie wakes up to knocking on her door, she’s a bit perturbed to find her friend Amber, cold and disheveled, looking to come in out of the rain.  Needless to say, she’s even more perturbed when she gets a phone call from Amber warning her that the woman in her house isn’t her and shouldn’t be trusted.  This movie is so unsettling because it takes those things we take for granted as safe spaces and turns them into threats.  It’ll leave you thinking twice about falling asleep alone on the couch.
Where to find it:  Making the festival rounds.

Selfie (2018)
Length: 3 minutes Director:  Robin Young Starring: Jade Halcyon, Robin Young
“Selfie” is the kind of movie that proves you don’t need much in terms of budget to make an effectively creepy horror movie.  Robin Young wrote, directed, edited, and starred in this very short film that all takes place in a bathroom, where a lone girl struggles with her own self-image as she tries to get a good shot of herself with her phone.  She’s so engrossed, however, that she doesn’t see what else might be going on in the background.  Even knowing where things are going to go, it says a hell of a lot for the execution of the film that it still freaked me right the hell out when the hammer drops. 
Where to find it:  Making the festival rounds.  Check out the trailer here.

Hunting Season (2018)
Length: 11 minutes Director:  Shannon Kohli Starring: Hannah Levien, Luke Camilleri
Who knew a movie set at a gas station could be so beautiful, fantastical, and poignant?  While working the overnight shift, Callie figures she’s going to have to deal with the usual drudgery of drunken rednecks, boredom, and lonely hours left pondering her own shortcomings.  But things take quite a turn when she starts hearing reports over the radio that a strange beast rumored to be wandering the woods around her town is making its way to her little convenience store.  Director Shannon Kohli is great at building dread and lead Hannah Levien is game carrying what is essentially a one-woman show.  But the real surprise is the beast’s reveal that I guarantee is not what you think is coming, but is still extremely satisfying.
Where to find it:  Making the festival rounds.

SHE (2018)
Length: 2 minutes Director:  Zena Dixon Starring: Zena Dixon
Many of you may know Zena Dixon as The Real Queen of Horror, a blogger who writes about her love of the genre at her website and as a contributor for Dread Central.  But in the short film “SHE,” Dixon proves that she’s got the chops for creating original content as well.  “SHE” is quick even by short horror standards, but it’s also focused on a fun, Tales From the Crypt-style gag that incorporates live-action footage overlaid with text messages to give a dark twist on ladies’ night. 
Where to find it:  Vimeo

Bryan Christopher