My own personal Oktoberfest continues, only instead of beer and delicious food, I’m diving headfirst into horror, which sounds kind of unpleasant, come to think of it. Fortunately it’s movies instead of, you know, real-life terror.
Anyway, today I continue writing lists about spooky things because Halloween creeps ever closer, and if you need something to get you in the mood, just check out these super creepy, short horror films you can watch for free.
I had so many I split this into two parts, with part 1 featuring live action shorts and part 2 showcasing animated ones. Check back next week for that one!
And now, in no particular order…
7. There Are Monsters
I like my horror abstract and unsettling, so this is one of the few videos on the list that have anything remotely resembling a plot. A couple prepares for a dinner party while subtly wrong things keep happening around them. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but it’s so atmospheric and just plain creepy that it keeps your attention perfectly.
The acting is very good for its presumably low budget, the sounds are otherworldly, and the direction and cinematography are intimate. It’s a bit longer than most of these, but it’s absolutely worth your time.
6. No Through Road
Speaking of low budgets, this British short was probably made on a quarter of a shoestring, but it delivers some very nice chills. Using the found footage format developed by our ancient ancestors, No Through Road features a couple of British kids who get lost after turning around in the driveway of an abandoned house while out driving.
It, too, is a slow burn, but luckily British teens feel far less annoying than American ones. Or maybe I only think that because I’m American. Regardless, it’s a spooky little film that feels a bit like a campfire tale. And while the first part is a fine story on its own, there are three other parts as well if you’re interested in seeing how it continues.
5. Think About This
This horror flick is unique because it’s not actually a horror flick at all. It’s just the scariest job training video you’ve ever seen. I’m not joking. Think About This is a safety video that’s gorier than Hostel and features a song more haunting than Gloomy Sunday.
Watch in terror as unsuspecting factory workers’ lives are brutally ended by operating heavy machinery in unsafe ways. It’s disturbingly realistic and has surprisingly awesome/grotesque makeup and special effects. Unless they really mutilated or killed all of those people, which I sort of suspect.
4. The Eel
Technically, this is a music video for a song called “where what (the eel)” by The Eighth Conflict, a musical project by Robert Clunne, but it also doubles as a fully-functional short horror flick. It’s about an eel! Did you guess that already? Perhaps the most shocking thing about the video is that it was shot for only £300 and apparently features no CG. I don’t know how they did it, though I’ve wondered before if the director just found an eel monster and paid him £300.
3. Using Your RapeFear Fantasmask
I guess I just like horror films presented in unusual formats, because this makes three in a row. Using Your RapeFear Fantasmask is an instructional video for a non-existent “health” product, but it’s made with a real commercial for a beauty mask called Rejuvenique. It’s hard to explain but, essentially, clever editing, some new music, text, and pictures of disfigured faces can take you a very long way.
2. The Dining Room or There is Nothing
This (extremely) short piece is simple and to-the-point, but super atmospheric and weird. The music alone is way eerie, but the whole package is wonderful. Who knew that unnecessary, unexplained fire could be sort of scary? Also, the film is a perfect loop, which you can check out for yourself by going right here.
1. Still Life
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that mannequins are sorta freaky. That uncanny valley effect will get you every single time, and this film really capitalizes on that to sell the fear. And just when things reach their creepy climax… well, I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s got a better ending than most big budget horror films from the last decade or two.