Nightmare Fuel: Scary Horror Shorts [Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2016]

nightmare-fuel-the-homeTilly (USA) (2016)
A child is scared of the monster in her bedroom and her father is trying to convince her there is nothing to be afraid of.  He is very, very wrong.  In director Robert Kotecki’s short film, things are not as they seem.  He takes a simple premise and twists it a couple of times.  The main twist, what makes it what it is and makes the story effective is actually unexpected and it creates an interesting story.  The second twist woks as well, however the ending kind of breaks the film for this reviewer.

While it’s interesting, it just doesn’t seem to fit with where the rest of the short goes.  The acting by lead Brian Kimmet as the father is good and carries most of the film.  Supporting actress Allison Sharpe add an emotional anchor to his performance and the film.  Tilly is a short with good performance, more than decent effects that has some good tension for a little while.  The ending is interesting and satisfying until it kind of jumps into a completely, and unnecessary territory.

The Home (USA) (2016)
In a home for unwed mothers-to-be, something lurks in the dark.  Written by Peter Cilella and L.Gustavo Cooper, with the latter directing as well, The Home is built around these unknown invaders and the fear they put into the young mothers.  This short sets the tone with a beautiful opening scene before introducing its characters living in what looks to be a church.  One of them has a fear of being who are looming.  As the others try to reassure her, things don’t go so well.  This leads to a story with mustery shot in an interesting location.  The cinematography by Stuart Brereton works well with the dark confines of the church and the snowy exteriors around it.  The cast is good and the surprise nicely nasty.  The Home works its mystery and simplicity to bring a few good scares and look beautiful while doing so.

Payback (USA) (2016)
In writer/director Nathan Crooker’s short Playback, a man see a murder being committed by way of what looks to be CCTV.  As he realizes he knows where it’s taking place and goes to investigate, he makes a grave mistake.  The film is shot as one take that is extended.  This may not make much sense on paper, but it works on in the film and creates visually interesting results on screen.  The film looks interesting while developing a quick story that is definitely horror.  While it’s not the most engaging story it’s still decent and makes the most of its very short run time.  The acting is good while the visual effects steal the show.

The Sticks (UK) (2016)
Two friends go on a hike to help one of them forget heartbreak.  In the woods, they witness a man attacking a woman and come to her aid.  Things quickly take a turn for the off and worse.  Written and directed by Russell Davidson and Jamie Delaney, The Sticks piles on the mystery and never fully explains or resolves itself.  The story feels like it is part of a bigger one and it works as such.  The three lead actresses, Poppy Corby-Tuech, Conall Keating, and Larragh McCann, bring different personalities to their characters, feeling like real young women with real problems.  The film has a grey, haunting opening and maintains a bit of a grey-weather mood throughout.  The ending is another one that puzzles more than it resolves.

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival had its first edition from October 14th through October 16th, 2016.