This week I was trying to pick out just one short film to watch for today. But the more researching I did, the more shorts I found that were calling out to me. All sorts of shorts by women from so many different points of view and backgrounds. It was impossible to pick just one. Having too much to watch is never really a terrible problem to have, is it?
So I had a mini-marathon of short horror films made by women. So pleased that I enjoyed these all quite a bit. Some explored poignant themes while others made me laugh. Truly, women have something to bring to the table. They can prove it in no time flat.
“The Lonely Host” directed by Lisa J Dooley (2019)
This short has to be one of my favourites of the week. It plays on a fear many of us have: what’s really going on at this Airbnb?
For Silvia, there’s no good news where she ends up. At her Bnb, the host is super perky and friendly. And being friendly is weird, right? When Silvia returns from a date night with her girlfriend, she realises she’s being watched through cam footage. Can the girl get the hell out of Dodge before it’s too late?
I loved this for a few reasons. At first, the ending really made me stop and think about what had actually happened. Then I realised it was playing on my own expectations and prejudices. Thank you for serving me a wonderfully unsettling slice of atmosphere, Dooley.
“Una Mierda De Slasher” directed by Miriam Ortega Domínguez (2013)
This Spanish-language short is basically what you get when you have the worst group of friends ever.
When a group of friends sit down to watch a slasher movie together, they quickly find themselves debating the merits of slashers. Before the movie credits even roll, they find themselves in a nightmare…or do they?
The humour in “Una Mierda De Slasher” is really playful. The tone shifts constantly, keeping the viewer on their toes. But one thing is for sure: I’m so glad I don’t have this lot in my life.
“SHE” directed by Zena S. Dixon (2019)
I adore Zena’s work over on her YouTube channel, Real Queen of Horror. She’s personable and funny and makes some really great content. The amount of recommendations I’ve compiled from her lists is incredibly long.
This film puts the “short” in short film, clocking in than less than five minutes. But even this little taste gives you plenty of fun and twists. It’s ladies night for our antagonist and her friends. They’re all playing a little game together, and it’s a little bit twisted.
“Knock Knock” directed by Kennikki Jones-Jones (2019)
“Knock Knock” is easily the most surreal and heartbreaking short on this list.
Sinia is a kind neighbour, always looking out for the four children who live next door to her. The children’s mother is abusive towards them, so Sinia is always watching out for them. She communicates with them using a series of knocks on the wall.
But one night, things appear to get out of hand in the children’s home. Sinia tries to help, but she soon finds herself explore her true reality and mind.
This film is rich with symbolism. Jones-Jones offers a story here that is a heartbreaking look at mental health, poverty and motherhood. It’s beautiful, haunting and tragic.
“SLUT” by Chloe Okuno (2014)
Like all these shorts, “Slut” very much roots its horror in reality. Young Maddy lives with her grandmother, who is housebound ill. It’s a lonely life, but when she meets a young man at a roller rink, she feels seen. But when Maddy’s new acquaintance is ‘stolen’ away by the local hottie, she decides to do up her image.
Maddy finds empowerment in her new look. She begins to seek new experiences. But unbeknownst to her, Roller Rink Creep is keeping a closer eye on her than she knows.
It’s a terrifying situation, that doesn’t even feel that outlandish to most women. This is not a cautionary tale demonizing sexual exploration, but rather the dangers of toxic masculinity.