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Short Cuts: The Short Horror Review Roundup for May 2023

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 | Short Cuts


Bonjour short horror connoisseurs, and welcome back for a new batch of Short Cuts. Your menu for May includes a ghostly baby seeking some attention, a difficult but hopeful battle against a tumorous monster, and a dark parable about the Cambodian genocide.

Bon appétit, and as always, if you or anyone you know have a short film you’d like me to consider or if you’ve got some news you’d like to share in the short horror world, please contact me via Twitter or email me at!

The Haunted Baby Carriage from Hell (2023)
8:34 minutes Director: JT Seaton  Starring: Dylan Wayne Lawrence, John Reddy, Kelli Maroney
Have you ever considered handling a haunted house by just not caring about it? That’s exactly the approach that couple Spencer and Cameron take when they find out that the fixer upper they purchased comes with one item that wasn’t in the listing: a haunted baby carriage that roams the house doing everything it can to make its presence known. But Spencer and Cameron just don’t have the time to get freaked out as navigate house renovations and entertaining friends. If you’re anything like me, you might start finding yourself rooting for the poor spectral infant to get some of the attention they crave so badly.
Where to find it: Making the festival rounds. Check out the trailer here

The Rotting of Casey Culpepper (2022)
13:23 minutes Director: Daniel Slottje  Starring: Lilliana Ketchman, Daniel Slottje, Kelsey Strauch
It’s not much of a revelation to say that cancer sucks. But Daniel Slottje’s short film’s use of metaphor is really effective at showing just how much it sucks. Young Casey and her single father Lonnie are pained to realize the tumorous monster they thought was gone has returned, and their scared but determined approach to fighting it shows how this tumor is so damaging not just to Casey but to Lonnie as well. We also see how connected Casey is to the monster as they can’t hurt it without also hurting her. Lilliana Ketchman is pretty amazing as the vulnerable yet resilient Casey, and Slottje does a good job showing how this is ultimately her fight and it might never truly end. It’s a pretty harrowing film, but there’s also something very bittersweet about it.
Where to find it: Streaming on YouTube

Swept Under (2022)
9:35 minutes Director: Ethan Soo  Starring: Alvin Heng, Lisa Dobbyn, Brandon Lessard
Before seeing this short film from Ethan Soo, I wasn’t familiar with the Cambodian genocide that resulted in the deaths of of 1-2 million people at the hands of Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s. Sadly, however, I wasn’t terribly surprised to learn that U.S. intervention only exacerbated the problem, as Soo explores through a parable of sorts. The film follows Cameron, a Cambodian adoptee whose white sister Tricia gives him a rug she says was made by a survivor of the genocide. But there’s a danger within the rug that Cameron discovers with tragic consequences that mirror the catastrophic results of U.S. interference and subsequent abandonment of numerous international crises over the years. It’s a chillingly enlightening look at history that, as the title suggests, we by and large try to forget.
Where to find it: Streaming on YouTube

Bryan Christopher