Dead Man’s Lake

Best Short Films of 2012

There are exactly 12,458 short films made every year. That number is a grossly inaccurate estimation, but the point is, there’s a hell of a lot of short films out there. The classic calling card for would-be career directors, the mistress keeping a feature filmmaker’s attention, the proof that a left field concept can work.  These brief motion pictures can pack an incredible punch, and in the world of the internet, they are everyday finding their place among the throne room of distraction entertainment that can be safely smuggled into a cubicle or a school desk. After watching close to 3,000 shorts this year, roughly 260 were chosen for our Short Film of the Day feature, so the idea of culling that list down to 12 seems both staggering and like something that violates the Eighth Amendment. The whole “Everyone’s a winner” schtick is something we all know isn’t true, but if you made it onto the site at all, you’ve got something that thousands of other movies don’t. With that in mind, here are the shorts that shined above and beyond those that survived the final cut. You’ll find a security team overwhelmed by monsters and sarcasm, two robots with immense humanity, a bit of comic book ultra-violence and a whole lot more.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Three friends decide to go camping near a lake, and yeah, yeah, yeah. If this short from Ben Franklin sounds predictable, simply know that it’s not. It’s a fantastic horror short film that uses standard conventions in order to subvert them. So, sure, there’s the horny couple checking their watches until they can shake the tent, there’s the goofy friend who is obsessed with blasting fireworks, and there’s the bloodied horror that finds them in the woods. But Dead Man’s Lake is the kind of short that entertains before it pulls the damned rug out from under you. The result is something devastating and terrifying in a far more fundamental way than your average slasher re-hash. It’s not wink-and-nod like Cabin in the Woods, but it knows its horror and sidesteps every cliche in order to build something that punches you right in the chest. What will it cost you? Only 9 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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