THE SILENT DOG – Horror Short

A mother struggles trying to avoid her son of becoming insane like his deceased father, but maybe it’s already too late.

 

The Silent Dog (original title O Cão Silencioso) is a tense and dark horror short, that will keep you at the edge of your seat!

 

THE SILENT DOG - Horror Short

 

Director: Thed Oliveira
Country & year: Brazil, 2020
Actors: Mara Carvalho, Michel Joelsas, Donizeti Mazonas, Augusto Trainotti
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt12920176/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color Out of Space (2019)

Nathan Gardener and his family moves to his late father’s farm somewhere in rural New England, in the hopes of living a quiet life and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Just when they start to settle in, a meteorite crashes into their yard which emits an otherworldly color (a color out of space). One of the children (Jack) is traumatized by the event, and seems to be affected in strange ways. He becomes obsessed with the well in the garden and claims he’s got a “friend” there. Strange flowers and plants starts growing, animals suffer grotesque mutations, and the Gardener family’s life transforms into a colorful nightmare.

 

Color Out of Space is based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft. The director, Richard Stanley, last directed a film way back in 1992 (Dust Devil), so there was a 27 year pause until his comeback. Things didn’t start out all that trouble-free, however, as the movie lacked funding when Stanley revealed the project in 2013. In 2015 it was announced that the production company SpectreVision would produce the film…but it was still delayed until 2018, around the time when Nicholas Cage was confirmed to play the leading role, and then the filming started in Portugal in 2019. Sometimes, things simply just take time. Stanley first stated that this is the first movie in a planned trilogy of Lovecraft adaptions (the next one supposed to be based on The Dunwich Horror). However, in March 2021 the trilogy was canceled after Stanley was accused of domestic abuse by his former partner Scarlett Amaris, and SpectreVision cut all relation with him.

 

Many of Lovecraft’s stories have been made into film adaptions, some more successfully than others. And most of them have a varied love/hate reception…and this movie is no exception to that rule. And it isn’t even the first time Color Out Of Space was adapted to the screen…there are actually as much as four earlier adaptions, including a 2010 German black & white adaption that’s called Die Farbe aka Color Out of Space.

 

As this story was originally published in September 1927, and Stanley’s movie adaption goes for a more modern take on things, there are some changes here and there. For those that have read the original Lovecraft story, you’ll know that the color is described as one that humanity has never actually seen…but that is, of course, not really possible to portray in a movie unless it was made in black and white (like the German 2010 adaption). However, the purple-pink-ish color used here actually looks pretty good and makes for a highly visual and mesmerizing treat. It’s a Lovecraftian snack-bag filled with goodies that can be enjoyed by many: visually wonderful, a dosage of some pretty good body horror moments, all mixed in with the classic cosmic terror and the fear of the unknown. That being said, I can understand why it’s not tickling everyone’s pickle as some people might be put off due to the changes, and others might find the humor in it a bit weird. Like with nearly every Lovecraft story that’s been adapted to the screen, there’s both love and hate for it.

 

Overall, I think Color out of Space is an entrancing surreal cosmic horror movie. Stanley is also a Lovecraft fan, so the film is filled with a nice handful of easter eggs that people who have read Lovecraft’s other stories will recognize (like the daughter, whose name is Lavinia). And of course, it’s always a pleasure to watch Nicholas Cage go bonkers in a horror movie.

 

Color Out of Space

 

Director: Richard Stanley
Country & year: USA, Malaysia, Postugal, 2019
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Elliot Knight, Tommy Chong, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hilliard, Josh C. Waller, Q’orianka Kilcher, Melissa Nearman, Amanda Booth, Keith Harle
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt5073642/

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVERY NIGHT I SEE THEM – Horror Short

A man does everything in his power to not fall asleep in an attempt to escape certain death.

 

Every Night I See Them is a simple yet creepy and atmospheric horror short!

 

APOLLYON - Horror Short Film

 

Director: Ryan Godoy
Country & year: USA, 2021
Actors: Nick Osborne, Dane Oliver, Takalay Hamill, Rebecca Adam
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt14539324/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

You know the legends… Now learn the truth.

 

Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) is alive, but far past his glory days, to put it mildly. He has become a bedridden old geezer, who rots away in a small nursery home somewhere in Texas, filled with bitterness, grief, lost identity, and can’t say one sentence without spewing sarcasm. To make it worse he has a cancerous growth on his willie. And how much worse can it get from here? No one thinks he’s the real Elvis. Because, hear this: Once upon  a time Elvis had to retire from showbiz and pass the mic to the Elvis impersonator Sebastian Haff (Bruce Campbell again) when his hip went bye-bye. When Sebastian Haff died of an overdose, Elvis never got the chance to reclaim his identity. So here we are. Life is unfair.

 

The one and only who believes he’s The Elvis is none other than a senile, weird old man who claims to be John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis). And he’s.. well, uhm… black. Ok. And guess what; an ancient Egyptian Soul-sucking Mummy starts to terrorize the oldies at night who ends up dead at a high rate at the nursing home.  JFK is strongly convinced that a mummy called Bubba Ho-Tep is behind all of this. Of course it is. And since Elvis hasn’t got much better to do than shuffle around with a walking chair, he teams up with JFK and puts on his iconic stage-outfit one last time to kick some mummy ass.

 

Bubba Ho-Tep is written, produced and directed by Don Coscarelli, based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale which mixes drama, thriller, horror comedy, fantasy and an overdose absurdism. The premise itself is so bizarre, and far-stretched to oblivion that it’s hard to actually see any directors at all able to translate this to a coherent feature that walks a fine line between the absurdness and seriousness in a sober way. But Don Coscarelli certainly did it, and also wrote the script and produced Bubba Ho-Tep as a passion project which quickly became a modern cult-classic. The result, with a budget of one million dollars, is pretty solid, to say the least, with Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis as the most unlikely duo ever put on film, in its bizarre plot that doesn’t look like anything else. But for those who expects blood n’ gore, you will be disappointed as Bubba Ho-Tep relies far more on atmosphere (an eerie one I would say) surreal character study, and dialogue-driven scenes with some really rough language your mom probably wouldn’t appreciate.

 

A horror comedy where Bruce Campbell portrays an old Elvis is enough of itself to get anyone’s attention. But we shouldn’t underestimate Ossie Davis (1917-2015), who was an unknown name for my part. A serious actor who’s inducted to the American Theatre Hall of Fame is one of the last actors you’d expect to see in a film like this. Even his manager at the time meant he was too good for a film like this, and recommended him to skip the role, but the power of a good script convinced him otherwise. We could easily get an over-the-top goofy JFK, but Ossie plays him in a very serious and calm down-to-earth demeanor, how hard, unlikely and utterly bizarre that sounds like. The chemistry between Bruce and Ozzie really shines and they seemed to have a blast on set. Bruce Campbell does one of his greatest performance ever. He completely disappears into the role of Elvis and clearly shows that he’s a lot more than a certain Ash with a chainsaw. I also have to mention the soundtrack by Brian Tyler which is just plain and simply beautiful.

 

Bubba Ho-Tep

 

Director: Don Coscarelli
Country & year: USA, 2002
Actors: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce, Heidi Marnhout, Bob Ivy, Edith Jefferson, Larry Pennell, Reggie Bannister, Daniel Roebuck, Daniel Schweiger, Harrison Young, Linda Flammer, Cean Okada
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0281686/

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APOLLYON – Horror Short Film

A sickly Janitor at a historic church discovers a portal for newly departed souls to enter the next life. But these lost spirits are not leaving this world empty handed.

 

Apollyon is a nice horror short with a little bit of a lovecraftian vibe at the end!

 

APOLLYON - Horror Short Film

 

Director: Bret Miller
Country & year: USA, 2019
Actors: Jimmy Doom, Kimberly Cruchon Brooks, Phillip Shaun DeVone, Dennis Doyle Jr., Chris Ewing, Colleen Gentry, Ian Griffin, Destiny Hughbanks, Erik Steele, Whitney Wagner
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt10804520/

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hidden (1987)

It’s apparently a regular sunny day in Los Angeles, where the random middle-aged guy Jack DeVries (Chris Mulkey) brutally robs a bank and storms off in a black Ferrari. He drives in full speed like a madman through the famous Echo Park, hits an old geezer in a wheelchair while he headbangs to some hair metal on the radio, and goes pretty much into full GTA-mode. His crazy adventure is quickly going towards an end when the police blocks the road, blows his car to flames, and… the guy walks out of the burning car and gets bullet-stormed by the police. He miraculously survives and…Nothing to see here, folks, move along. He gets brought to the hospital while the police scratch their heads and struggle to come to a conclusion as to why this man, with no criminal record, suddenly snapped…and how the hell he’s still alive. On top of that, he had during the last two weeks killed twelve people, stolen six sport cars, robbed eight banks and six supermarkets, four jewelry stores and one candy store. He even murdered two kids with a butcher knife. Good Lord…

 

DeVries wakes up in the hospital, gets out off the bed and approaches the unconscious patient next to him where he spews out a slimy parasite-like creature into his mouth so he can transfer to another body and continue the killing spree journey of looting and mayhem. The police officer Tom Beck (Michael Nouri) teams up with the FBI agent Lloyd Gallager (Kyle MacLachlan) to get to the bottom of this what-the-holy-fuck case that quickly gets weirder and weirder.

 

The Hidden is really what you could call a hidden gem, and it’s pure fun from start to finish. Director Jack Sholder is probably most known for Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge and the hilarious Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies, and even though The Hidden is more action driven with elements of dark comedy, drama, and a dose of 80s political incorrectness, he does a great job stitching it together to a fast-paced and highly entertaining B-movie. With a budget of five million dollars, which is basically nothing in today’s standard, there’s many well-crafted scenes with some wild car chases, gunfights, explosions, and of course a parasite-possessed stripper going berserk while fucking a guy to death in his car. While I wish we could see more of the alien itself, our partners Lloyd and Tom makes up for it with some great and somewhat bizarre buddy-cop dynamics, which manages to drive the quite simple plot fast and steady (or furious, if you will.) It’s also worth to mention that Kyle MacLachlan brought a lot of the character in The Hidden over to his most known role in Twin Peaks as Agent Cooper three years later, and the similarities are quite striking.

 

And yeah, a direct-to-video sequel was made in ’93, and it looks like… well, see for yourself.

 

The Hidden

 

Director: Jack Sholder
Country & year: USA, 1987
Actors: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, Claudia Christian, Clarence Felder, Clu Gulager, Ed O’Ross, William Boyett, Richard Brooks, Larry Cedar, Katherine Cannon, John McCann, Chris Mulkey, Lin Shaye, James Luisi, Frank Renzulli
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0093185/

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WILD – Dutch Horror Short

Following a young family as they travel to the idyllic Dutch countryside for a quiet weekend away, when they arrive at their picturesque destination it soon becomes apparent that there’s more to this place and its creepy inhabitants than meets the eye. The locals aren’t the only ones acting strangely however…

 

Wild is a horror short that gives us beautiful scenery, a build of tension, and a… tasty ending!

 

WILD - Dutch Horror Short

 

Director: Jan Verdijk
Country & year: Netherlands, 2018
Actors: Wouter Hendrickx, Hannah van Lunteren, Jago Hensema, Jochum ten Haaf, Jan ten Haaf
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt10218886/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl on the Third Floor (2019)

Donald Koch (aka Don) and his pregnant wife Liz has decided to buy a fixer-upper in the suburbs. Believing this will be a perfect place to raise a family, Don takes his dog Cooper with him and starts renovating their new home while Liz stays back in Chicago. As the renovation work brings a few unpleasant surprises, it becomes evident that there’s something not quite right with the house…and when a sexy young woman called Sarah appears on the property, acting all seductive and insistent, Don gets more than a handful of problems to handle.

 

Let me start by saying this: The Girl on the Third Floor is a movie that is most definitely not for everyone. While starting off with what could be interpreted as a typical haunted house story, it adds a few elements of its own that is apparently a bit…off-putting for some people. Already from the start, we see goo on the floor and around the house (which obviously is bodily fluids). It’s dripping out of electrical sockets and down from walls, while we listen to strange moaning sounds. And we get to know what all of this represents: as Don works on the renovations and gets into a conversation with a neighbor, he finds out that the house was once a brothel. While I have seen many twists on houses that partly becomes alive in some ways during a haunting, I have never seen one where a house is having an orgasm. So, uhm…that’s a new one. (And I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s actually a fetish for that kind of thing).

 

The story starts with a familiar construction: a couple trying to get a new life, by moving to a new location and buy themselves a fixer-upper. In this case, Don’s infidelity is what’s caused a severe strain on the relationship, and this is supposed to be their second chance. Don is quickly tempted back to his old ways when Sarah appears, and needless to say…he is giving in pretty easily to his temptations. Seductive and tempting as she may be, this makes it a bit hard to sympathize much with Don.

 

Some of the things that happens throughout Don’s attempts at renovating the house is of the typical “haunted house” bits and bobs, but there are some pretty clever ideas here and there. Especially the ghost who is the girl on the third floor, who appears with a mangled face and some kind of bondage-harness wrapped around her body. While she isn’t the only ghost there, her background story is what mostly fuels the darkness behind the house: the brothel was used by people who had dark urges, and little to no respect towards the women who worked there, often abusing them and even causing their deaths. This part feels a little unexplored, however, and what actually happened to the girl on the third floor and the other girls is mostly hinted at…although I guess this can leave more to the imagination. We know that the girl on the third floor was abused and killed, and her ghostly appearance very clearly shows us the after-effects of what she went through. Overall, The Girl on the Third Floor never manages to be scary, but it does have a fair bit of atmosphere, and pleasant visuals.

 

Fun fact: the movie was filmed in a real house, that underwent renovations during the time (but it was held off until the filming was completed). And this house was already rumored to be haunted.

 

Girl on the Third Floor

 

Director: Travis Stevens
Country & year: USA, 2019
Actors: C.M. Punk, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Sarah Brooks, Elissa Dowling, Karen Woditsch, Travis Delgado, Marshall Bean, Anish Jethmalani, Bishop Stevens, Tonya Kay, Eileah Pyrzynski
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt9026184/

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHARLIE BOY – Horror Short

A short psychological horror about an elderly lady named Dolly suffering from a condition called Charles Bonnet Syndrome, a condition which causes it’s sufferers to experience hallucinations as their eyesight deteriorates. Unable to trust her eyesight, Dolly must decipher if what she is seeing is real, and if it poses a threat.

 

Charlie Boy is a good horror short that’s both creepy and a little sad…

 

CHARLIE BOY - Horror Short

 

Director: Matt Sears
Country & year: UK, 2016
Actors: Beatrice Howard, Mick White, Ethan Le Tocq
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt7368092/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert (2015)

Before Annabelle, there was … Robert!

 

And yes, we’re talking about a real doll that is (allegedly) cursed. We’re going way back to 1906 where a young boy named Robert Eugene Otto was given a cursed doll by an Bahamian servant as a birthday gift. The rumors say that she was treated badly by the Otto family, and hoped that the doll would give them misfortunes. And the story is pretty much a nothing-burger from there on. Robert got married in 1930 in France, and moved back to his childhood home in the United States with his wife where they spent the rest of their lives. Robert died in 1974 and his wife two years later. Two decades later, the doll was donated to a museum in Florida where it’s been ever since. And the legend says that he’s still cursed and causes things like car accidents, broken bones, job loss, divorce and of course mass shootings (just kidding).

 

In this film, very loosely inspired by Robert the doll, we meet the privileged rich couple Paul and Jenny, and their 12-year-old son Gene. They live in a nice house, with nothing much to complain about. While Paul works in the justice system, Jenny is a depressed, nagging, demanding, sour, pathetic bitch of a woman with a really irritating voice, and is a completely unlikeable person from the start. Nothing is good enough for her, and she sacks the housekeeper Agatha for being a little forgetful. In order to get revenge, she picks up a doll hidden in the attic that the previous homeowners left behind, and gives it as a farewell gift to their son. Robert the doll looks of course completely different in reality, and here he looks more or less like Annabelle with short hair. And as mentioned, Robert is cursed and kills people who don’t respect him, such as pushing people down the stairs and attacking with a baseball bat. We could only hope that the doll wipes out Jenny first, but we’re not so lucky.

 

Gene quickly becomes friends with Robert, who starts talking to him. His mother wakes up to strange noises at night, finds things broken on the floor, and of course suspects Gene. We see some POV shots of Robert as he lurks around the house, writes “Die” on the mirrors with lipstick, and sabotages one of Jenny’s paintings. Sounds like some decent ideas for some suspenseful scenes, but it looks more like a cheap student film made for YouTube. It tries to be a serious horror film just like a mouse trying to be an elephant.

 

There is zero chemistry between the actors, with personalities like a grey rock, and it is impossible to buy Paul and Jenny as a married couple and feel any underlying danger and tension. It’s complete flat-line where one hopes that Robert kills the whole family after the first ten minutes, just to pull the plug and be done with it. The kid who plays their son Gene is possibly the worst child actor I’ve ever seen. Most of the film is painfully slow with lazy and uninspired directing, wooden acting, and the  few murder scenes are just ridiculous and goofy which gives no other impact than some great laughs. The ending is especially hilarious. So even though Robert is mainly a bore-fest, it’s a perfect film to tear to shreds and a good showcase on how not to make a movie in general.

 

And  there’s actually four sequels, believe it or not: The Curse of Robert , The Toymaker , The Legend of Robert the Doll and Robert Reborn.

 

Robert

 

Director: Andrew Jones
Country & year: UK, 2015
Actors: Suzie Frances Garton, Lee Bane, Flynn Allen, Judith Haley, Cyd Casados, Samuel Hutchison, Megan Lockhurst, Annie Davies, Ryan Michaels
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt4141368/

 

Tom Ghoul