Terror-nuggets: winners of this year's 15 Second Horror Film contest

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/31/15-seconds-of-terror.html


My gosh, the first few did me in.


Movies for the twitter generation.


The first couple were horror. The next few were only horrible.


A few years ago Studio 360 had a 30-second horror film contest, judged by Wes Craven no less. And I thought that was challenging. Little did I suspect anyone would cut the time in half.

Unfortunately their 30-second romantic comedy contest was a bust.

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There’s so much potential with the idea, but the execution is so tricky - there’s not enough time to build up tension, which is normally the basis for horror, so it has to be based on a very strong concept that can be quickly conveyed, with the tension built up in the viewer’s mind after watching it.

I’ve read the original micro-story that Good Night is based on (I don’t know who wrote it), and having that strong material made it the best of the bunch, though the added jump-scare at the end was unnecessary. Emma was relatively strong. Paradox had some potential - there was the possibility of doing something interesting there that didn’t quite work out. The rest were pretty silly. It must be difficult to avoid falling back on clichés, given the time limit. Many of the entries tried to do conventional horror films, but the approach doesn’t seem to work very well, for the most part - they just feel like a scene snipped from an actual movie. Others just seemed like the film versions of short, sick jokes, which also didn’t seem to work very well - at least for me.


Man, both of them which had the last second jumpscare with the arm would have been SO much better without it.

Same for nail biter. Just ending with the image of the guy and the funnel would have sufficed and been better in my opinion.

Paradox is definitely my favourite. #1 was very good, but also a copy (could be totally unintentional as it’s a pretty basic concept) of a short horror film featured here on Boing Boing in the last couple of years.

TLDR: Less is more! Drop off the last second jump scares and don’t show too much!

ETA: I sound grumpy, but just putting a critical eye on these! I enjoyed the creativity!


That first movie, Good Night, is just this two sentence story on video, and has been put on video more than once:

Paradox is probably my favorite, it would make an excellent looping short.

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