Short Films

This page is dedicated to the short but feature-worthy films, still hidden in the hard-to-find corners of the cosmos.  Whenever possible, I have provided available production information, along with names of directors, producers, actors/actresses, etc.  (For a more detailed list, see the credits that may follow the film.)  Being a producer and director of independent cinema myself, I truly appreciate such films and those who produce them; I also fully understand and consider the limitations involved–budgetary and otherwise.  I am proud to offer here, on Space Jockey Reviews, a place to showcase some of the best of what I’ve seen.

Space Jockey Reviews is a big fan of the British heroine of video-game fame Lara Croft!  So, the latest film, Croft,  from Trevor Addie (Kill Switch) and Irma Leong (Warm Bodies) pushes the needle on the rocket meter to the limit! In the payload here is everything fans want! Cassandra Ebner portrays Lara with a realistic, ass-kicking proficiency unlike anything previously put to screen. Hollywood could definitely learn some things from Trevor Addie, Irma Leong, Cassandra Ebner (Lara Croft), and all involved! Hopefully, there’s more to come soon! In the meantime, enjoy Croft!

Suppose the Grim Reaper, besides being the harvester of human souls, was just like anybody else; suppose he otherwise had a “normal” life like the rest of us, complete with familial issues and fatherhood frustrations galore. Yes, just like so many of us, suppose that his normal life included a typical teenage daughter, detached from everything but herself, attached only to what further enhances herself.  Yes, suppose…or, better yet, imagine all of that, wrapped neatly and efficiently into one novel story as well! “Why?” you say.  “Why not?” I say.  That’s exactly what Peter Dukes of Dream Seekers Productions has done exceptionally well with his latest short horror comedy, LiTTLE REAPER, starring Athena Baumeister and John Paul Ouvrier. (Also, be sure to check out the full review of LiTTLE REAPER on SJR.)

Blüm is a great sci-fi short film starring Space Jockey Reviews’ favorite Hayley Derryberry! The movie is out-of-this world by any standard, but even more so for being written, shot, and edited in a single weekend! It’s also just the type of sci-fi that Space Jockey Reviews loves most–intelligent and to the point. Must you be human to be “human’? and, as Phillip K. Dick himself might have asked, “Do androids dream electric sheep?” Blüm is a short film that asks exactly such thoughtful questions and more, all in under nine minutes! Enjoy! (Also, see Hayley Derryberry’s superstellar interview here on SJR!) 😀

The New World is a great short, fantasy film by Peter Dukes of Dream Seekers Productions! It stars the Scottish actress Katy Townsend as “The Wandering Fairy.”  See the world you know through the eyes of someone discovering it for the fist time. What we take for granted everyday can be another’s joy forever.  Check out the full review of The New World on Space Jockey Reviews, complete with photos and a fully-fueled Rocket Rating as well by clicking here!

Several times during the course of the night, Dorothy, the little girl Julie is looking after, behaves oddly, screaming from her bedroom. Each time, Julie puts her back to bed, comforting her by telling her it’s just a nightmare…Or is it? Red Balloon is one of the best short films I’ve ever seen! It’s directed and written by Alexis Wajsbrot and Damien Mace, cowritten by Jimmy Pinto, edited by Chris Hunter, and produced by Kerri Trounce. It stars Rachel Bright as Julie and Niamh Palmer Watson as Dorothy. Everything about this film is as professional as it gets. I rarely see anything better coming from Hollywood, even with the largest of budgets. Many 90-minute movies don’t pack as many chills as this one does in under 13 minutes. Rachel Bright is an actress to look for; her performance is convincing and spot on for the character she plays. Rachel’s acting is as good as any seasoned professional I’ve seen. For my full review of Red Balloon,featured on Space Jockey Reviews, click here! Until then, the next time you think you’re having a nightmare, pinch yourself to make sure you’re not really awake! Enjoy!

From director Colin Clarke himself: “Billy, his sister Lisa, and her boyfriend Mike, spend a night at a drive-in theater after trick-or-treating on Halloween. When Billy threatens to walk home through an old cornfield, Mike tells him a legend of Old Farmer Blood, who is said to have seeded his field with the blood of murder victims. When Billy disbelieves, Mike leads the trio into a nightmare of unrelenting terror.” That synopsis pretty much sums up this sinister story (without spoilers) in the seminal Samhain style–so, I’ll leave it there. Raven’s Hollow is from Daredevil Films and Darkhorse Productions, directed by Colin Clarke, starring the voices of Gavin Phillips, Travis Worthey, and Stephanie Pax. Music is by Andrew Kalbfus; animation by Colin Clarke; motion comic by Andrew Carlson and Colin Clarke. Raven’s Hollow was written by Marc Packard and Colin Clarke and produced by Andrew Carlson and Colin Clarke. For the full review on Space Jockey Reviews, click here! Enjoy!

The Guest is another of the best short horror films I’ve seen, with an ending that’s far from predictable! In a little over fifteen minutes, it develops characters better than most films do in an hour and a half and packs as much suspense as well. What’s more is that the acting is so substantial and exceptional that it further helps this short film seem more like a full-length feature. The Guest is a stand-out film produced by Upstart Filmworks and Final Girl Films in association with S.L. Productions and Busted Buggy Entertainment.  The film is written and directed by Bryan Ryan; it stars Alyshia Ochse as Dana and Robert Seay as “The Man.”  I look forward to seeing more from Bryan, Alyshia, and Robert in the future; The Guest proves them all to be very talented, for sure!  In the meantime, enjoy The Guest; just make sure you don’t stay too long! 🙂  For a full review of The Guest, featured on Space Jockey Reviews, click here!

A young blonde (Katelin Petersen) is disturbed, during the night, by loud knocking at her door. She assumes it’s someone she knows doing something unwelcome he’s done before—perhaps playing a practical joke, or worse, being an ex-boyfriend stalker. Who knows? What does the blonde do? Does she answer the door? Does she get killed or become the killer herself? I’m not about to tell you much about a film under four minutes long? You’ll have to visit yourself to find that out. Let’s just say that she does more than a few things that we all do, for better or worse, when confronted with the ever-dangerous impulse called curiosity. The Uninvited Visitor is episode 3 of Midnight Horror Show (MNHS); it’s produced by the two-man team of talent, Rudy Gold and Christian Guzman. Currently, they release 1-2 episodes per month on their own youtube channel of the same name: Midnight Horror Show. Each episode serves up a full dose of horror in record time; for movie watchers on the go (or those just wanting a fast thrill), MNHS is the perfect fix! Episodes move fast and punch hard! From the strength of what I’ve seen, there are many reasons to keep an eye on what Rudy and Christian have in the works! Check the Midnight Horror Show Youtube Channel for more!

In Chambers is a dark, thought-provoking short film from Norway.  It’s written, directed, and edited by Aleksander Nordaas & Bendik Heggen Strønstad of yesbox productions.  This is the same talented team that produced Thale–the mythic tale about the Norwegian Huldra.  More than coincidentally, In Chambers also stars the beautiful Silje Reinåmo, who also played the Huldra in Thale.  Yes, it seems that this production team has quite an attachment to Silje!  Hmmmm.  I wonder why.  🙂  Anyway, In Chambers has excellent cinematography, great acting (what there is of it), exceptional editing, and a great, mysterious story as well.  It’s very professionally done, original, and lots of other good stuff.  If I tell you any more, I’ll tell you too much.  Just watch it below, and…oh yeah…check to see if you have any numbers on your wrist, and pinch yourself really hard!  You’ll want to be awake for this one!  😉

Love Hurts is a great short film from Silicon Imaging.  As a matter of fact, it’s one of the creepiest I’ve seen; of course, for a horror film, that’s quite a compliment.  In its short running time, it packs some incredible suspense and tension in a restroom scenario I hope I never encounter.  I never got bored with this one and was even wanting more in the end.  The directing, editing, acting and cinematography are all excellent, done with professionalism to match the best of anything I’ve seen.  Love Hurts stars Medi Broekman as Wendy, Nasrdin Dchar as the boyfriend, Déna Massque as the girl (or whatever) in the stall, and Sergec Geworkan as the cleaner.  It’s directed by Shariff Nasr, written by Terrence, and produced by Robbert Bruijs, Floor Schroeijers, and Shariff Nasr.  These are definitely some talents to look for, and I look forward to seeing whatever else they produce in the future!

I really love a good found-footage movie. The Hunt is better than good; it’s excellent! Everything about this movie is as good as any such movie I’ve seen.  All of the acting is excellent, the directing is awesome, and the creature effects are scary.  The story flows quickly enough for the nearly 14-minute length of the movie, and it does something well that all such movies must do well to succeed.  It’s realistic!  Yes.  The Hunt was as real as it would have been had it really happened.  What’s it about?  An unknown creature is killing people in a small town in Paducah, Kentucky.  A group of local residents set out to take matters into their own hands, and…and that’s where I’ll leave it for you to see yourself.  The Hunt stars Andy Wiggins, Ritchie Edwards, David Walker, Liza Turner, and Matt Jaeger.  It’s directed by John William Holt and produced by Chris Bower of A Goodsize Productions.  Enjoy!

Vanished is the story of a young couple who encounter something, possibly other-worldly, on a weekend getaway in the woods of Maine. Is it a ghost, a spirit, or something much more sinister?  I have no idea, but Vanished does provide a good, tight eight minutes worth of ghostly entertainment.  One of the things I like about Vanished is that it left me thinking about what happened.  Instead of tellling you what to think, it makes you figure it out for yourself.  Vanished  is written and directed by Andrew Fitzgerald, produced and edited by Patrick McCabe, with cinematography and cowriting by Nico Doldinger. The film stars Alex Paige as Jen and Hunter Emery as Scott.

Alone is a nice piece of short cinema from Grindworks Pictures.  It’s directed by Damaine Radcliff and produced by Damaine Radcliff, Spencer Longmore, and Emil Pinnock.  Alone stars Candice Wilson as the girl alone, worried about being the victim of a horror film herself. Oh, what ironic fate this film delivers! Candice does an excellent job of being very natural and believable in her role, making everything ordinary enough that we could see it happening to ourselves!  Therein lies the horror!  The film is also creepy, realistic, and well-paced, including only what is necessary for the effect.  I chose to showcase Alone here in the good company of those who appreciate the finer qualities of directing and acting that often go overlooked in independent films.

Detrás Del Espejo (Behind the Mirror) is a great little horror/slasher film with an unexpected psychological twist.  It’s written and directed by Arturo Sanchez and produced by Anisart films.  Detrás Del Espejo stars Eva Villalta as Nuria and Esperanza Lopez as Marina.  Even if you don’t speak Spanish, this movie is not a problem to understand, as the events translate the plot clearly enough.  Eva Villalta does a professional job of playing her part as Nuria–the frightened young woman determined to protect her friend…or so she thinks.  The directing talents of Arturo Sanchez, along with the acting of Eva Villalta, make Detrás Del Espejo stand out in front of the mirror more so than behind.  Check out the whole movie below!

Highway 9 is a short suspense film directed at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute in just one week!  It was written by Kristella Sallee, edited by Bunee Tomlinson, produced by Al Novey and Beau Leland, with cinematography by Dane Schoelen.  Highway 9 stars Leslie Hippensteel as the stranded motorist and Jason Wilkinson as the passerby/would-be rescuer.  In just over five minutes, this movie plots an unexpected role reversal for the most common of cinema cliches!

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One of the most important elements any horror film can have is atmosphere–a dominant mood, emotional tone, or environment that surrounds and envelops us as viewers, making us feel that we are a part of it all as we watch.  … Continue reading

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