Last time we did one of these short film round-ups, we gathered 10 shorts all under 10 minutes. This time, we’ve got seven creator-submitted shorts, most of which run a little longer, but all of which tell some wonderfully twisted tales. So be careful who you go home with, beware that wormhole, and seriously...don’t eat that pizza!
1. The Misplaced
Everybody knows the exquisitely frustrating feeling of losing something you were just using. In Alex DiVincenzo’s horror short The Misplaced, an agitated woman realises too late that her cell phone isn’t on the table, under the couch cushions, or even accidentally left in the freezer. It is, however, calling from inside the house.
2. The Worst Planet on Earth
In 2016, io9 spotlighted a clever horror short titled Spooky Club, about a gang of costume-clad ruffians intent on pilfering Vincent Price’s skull.
The sibling creators of that film, Joe and Lloyd Stas, are back with the whimsically weird Worst Planet on Earth, which features a banjo-picking astronaut who’s stranded on the right planet at the wrong time; a soda-slurping, ice cream-craving wizard; and the killer stamp of approval that can only come with the phrase “executive produced by Sam Raimi.”
3. Last One Screaming
Every horror fan is familiar with the Final Girl trope, but—unless she goes on to star in a sequel—what happens to that tried-and-true character after all the carnage ends is murkier territory. Matt Devino’s Last One Screaming takes place in a police station, as the bloody sole survivor of a wilderness getaway gone demonically wrong (Camila Greenberg) shares her tale, complete with gory flashbacks, with an FBI agent whose reaction may surprise you.
4. Deep Dish Apocalypse
As you’ve already gathered, io9 loves to share new work by filmmakers we’ve featured in the past. A few years ago we featured funny time-travel short Future Boyfriend; now, that film’s co-stars and producers, Ron Morehouse and Emily Bell, are back with another clever genre riff, Deep Dish Apocalypse, directed by David Codeglia. As cheese-borne chaos rages in the city above, a woman (Bell) taking cover in a subway station meets an acquaintance (Morehouse) who’s a little too happy to hear she’s just annihilated her zombified boyfriend. Really, dude?
5. Third Date
They haven’t known each other long (see: title), but the young NYC couple in writer-director Avishai Weinberger’s horror short have progressed enough to have their first truly awkward conversation. The guy blurts out “I love you” (too soon!) and they both drop hints about dark secrets they’re hesitant to share. Without giving anything away, well...let’s just say his is way worse. Bonus points for some truly stomach-churning special effects.
A ne’er-do-well kid who’s been booted from multiple foster homes is set up with a last-chance solution: his very own caregiving robot, the “Teenage Interactive Mechanism,” aka “T.I.M.” It’s a surreal arrangement, but T.I.M. (played by the perfectly deadpan Tim Jaehyung Park, who co-wrote along with Gavin Conlon and director Adrian Delcan) turns out to be more like a cool older brother, programmed with slang and party tricks even as he gently schools his charge on how to not be such a fuckup.
7. Jumbo John
In Tom Logan Gruber’s dystopian tale set in a skewed version of contemporary New York, a young chess champion (Angela Carbone) plots her escape from the ever-present AI overlord (equipped with beard, turtleneck, and plenty of smarm) who stares down from his billboard perch and comments on her every decision. Striking black-and-white cinematography elevates this melancholy tale, which keeps you guessing about what’s real until the very end.
Got a short sci-fi, fantasy, horror, or genre-bending film you’d like us to consider for a future post? Send it to [email protected]