Last one! “Next Floor” and “The Herd” (Short Horror October post 5)

Alas, we’ve arrived at the end of this year’s Short Horror October series.

One thing I love about a short film is that its length makes it easily re-watchable. This next (penultimate!) horror short begs for re-watching, as it’s heavily symbolic. My own thought is that the guests around the dinner table are of more significance than the food that’s on the table.

This beautifully filmed, multiple award-winning French Canadian film is called Next Floor.

 

 

This brings us to the last short film I’m posting in this year’s series!

The Herd is age-restricted for potentially challenging content. It’s not pretty, but it’s a brilliant horror film that’s worth watching to the end of its 16 minutes.

 

 

And that, as they say, wraps it up. I hope you enjoyed this year’s Short Horror October series as much as I did! I’m already counting down to next October… but you knew that.

Happy Friday Wednesday Eve, my friends. (Thank you for correcting me, Caroline!)

 

 

The Drain, Brother, Larry, The Jester. (Day 7: Horror short film October!)

In OCTOBER, of all months, my mother-in-law – “Maman” – came from France having never been to the States. She was here for ten days.

Immediately bewildered, suspicious, and dismayed when she saw skeletons, jack o’lanterns, ghosts, and other Halloween figures hither and yon, I remembered my experience living in France: in dramatic comparison to the States, Halloween doesn’t exist there. With Maman visiting, I realized exactly how seriously we Americans take Halloween. We have a lot of popular holidays here, and Halloween is up in the top three.

Halloween in the States is ubiquitous. It’s in your face. At the bank – skulls! The supermarket – more skulls! At the Arizona Territory store – skulls, skulls, skulls! (Garden-variety skulls in addition to Dia de los Muertos skulls.) At Target – forget about it. A good quarter of the store is dedicated to Halloween, including a section of Halloween children’s books about hauntings and creatures of lore.

Poor devout Maman, crossing herself and literally kissing her imaginary rosary crucifix everywhere we went.

 

Target, Halloween 2018

 

Target, Halloween 2018

 

I’m happy to report that skulls did not stop Maman from having a grand time. For one thing, we got her into sumo. This happened by accident, the same way Dad accidentally got us into sumo. Maman sat down with us in front of the T.V. when we were re-watching the highlights from the last Grand Sumo Tournament. Next thing we knew, Maman was on the edge of her seat holding her breath during the bouts to see which wrestler would hit the floor or exit the ring first. She got totally into it. Heheh.*

*My work here is done

Getting on with today’s horror shorts, then, I’ve got a random assortment. This being the last day of our horror short series, and me being loathe to exclude any of the following films, I’m posting all four of them. That’s right – I’m coming at you with 32 minutes of horror on this final day!

1). The Drain is the second of the two films I’d said did not strike me as belonging in the horror genre, but in the horror genre, it is. In any case, The Drain is an exceptionally well-crafted, original short film. I do find it to be psychologically haunting.

 

 

2). Next up: Brother. You knew there had to be at least one Japanese horror story in this series!

 

 

3). Then we have Larry, who teaches us to bring our own electronic devices with us to work. I’ve read that this horror short is being developed into a full-feature film, by the way.

 

 

4). I’m throwing in The Jester especially for Halloween! Moral of this story: clap in appreciation after a jester performs a trick. Jesters like applause.

 

 

Happy Halloween, All (who celebrate)!

Luna. (Day 6: Horror short film October!)

Leaving the gym last night, a friend stopped and pointed at the sky. The full moon could be seen rising above the horizon…  a colossal, intense moon poetically aglow with inner fire and lore. In honor of this year’s Hunter’s Moon – a perfect Halloween moon if I ever saw one – I bring to you the horror short Luna.

The moral of this story: pay attention to the lunar calendar.

 

 

La Fin.

 

 

Whisper, Mama, Mulberry Night. (Day 5: Horror short film October!)

We set the alarm for 3:00am this morning, but when it went off, I hadn’t slept. We’d gone to bed at 1:30am. It was like my body knew that I only had an hour and a half, so it said, why bother? We got Maman (mother-in-law) to the airport, came home, and went back to bed. Needless to say, I didn’t make it to the gym. We got up at 8:15am, but my brain wasn’t fully awake for another hour.

Thus, our 10-day house guest stint came to an end. It was a great ten days, I’m happy to conclude! It was over before we knew it.

October, too, will screech to a halt when November comes around next week. The month of horror short films will be over. There are still so many I’d like to share, and hundreds more I haven’t seen yet. My horror short film marathon will continue, but I won’t have an excuse to post my favorites here after the month turns next week.

Today, I bring you three horror shorts equaling 14:00 minutes. Going from shortest to longest, I’ll start with Whisper. It’s exactly two minutes long. Moral of this story: turn off all of your devices before going to bed.

 

 

This next horror short, Mama, so impressed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro that he was inspired to make it into a full feature film. Here, he provides an intro before the short:

 

 

Lastly, we arrive at Mulberry Night, which teaches us absolutely nothing. There’s nothing to learn from this. That’s part of what makes it scary. This could happen to any of us.

 

 

La Fin.

 

 

Pieces. (Day 4: Horror short film October!)

It’s Thursday, and I’m sure of it. Contrary to what I’d said on Facebook, Tuesday was not Friday Eve. My mother-in-law is here for a ten-day visit, and I’m frazzled. I only sometimes know what day it is.

I’m terrible at hosting house guests. I might seem okay from the outside, but on the inside, I’m frantic with the change thrown into my routine. This sort of circumstance reminds me that my routines are actually essential to my mental health. PTSD loves routine. PTSD needs routine.

However, the stress I manage to create for myself when hosting a house guest doesn’t preclude my enjoyment of said guest. My mother-in-law is adorable and endearing. She may sometimes express her motherly love in perplexing ways, but it’s motherly love nonetheless. As challenging as it can be at times, a mother’s love is phenomenal. I’ve spent the week observing it.

Maternal love is a protective love, a force unparalleled.

This brings me to Pieces, a horror short film of the supernatural variety. May I say again that I’m delighted to share these short films with you? This is what creative talent can accomplish: it can bring us important messages through art. I’m hooked on short films. It’s just pleasing when a complete story unfolds and wraps up within a well-paced 15 minutes.

 

 

La Fin.

 

Recon 6. (Day 3: Horror short film October!)

I have a horror-related tidbit to share before presenting today’s horror short film. A part of my brain will be indelibly scarred thanks to Engrenages season 5, episode 2. We watched this episode last night. All I can say is I hope actress Caroline Proust was paid EXTRA for what she had to endure while filming that scene. You could not pay me enough to do it.

You must know? While conducting an apartment search, a plastic bag FULL OF LARGE ROACHES fell onto her head and boiled over. Roaches crawled over the lead investigator from top to bottom, getting into her clothes and running down her back as her partner frantically tried to swat them off of her. We had to see the roaches caught and sticking in her hair. We had to see them piling up on the floor. We had to see close-up shots of roaches all throughout the scene.

I was on the floor hyperventilating and clawing at my eyes with the edge of a scarf as I wanted to watch and NOT WATCH at the same time.

Roaches are the worst of my two phobias, as many of you know, and these were the worst of the worst. These were of the sort that terrorized us during the Great Roachpocalypse of 2016 wherein hundreds (not exaggerating) of huge sewer roaches rose up en masse from our front yard lawn and hovered a few feet above the ground in a gigantic, shimmery, oily, reddish-brown cloud. The insect guy who inadvertently flushed them out took great satisfaction in this result as it exemplified how in the summer, sewer roaches will gather and hide where there’s water (the roaches had been attracted to the drain on the lawn). The lawn’s days were numbered after that. I believe we had it ripped out within two weeks of the incident.

In comparison to all of the above, I have Recon 6 for today’s horror short film October post. It’s one of the two horror shorts on my list that I wouldn’t call “horror.”

Recon 6 offers a fresh take on a very tired subject. If there’s a current “overplayed song” of the horror sub-genres, it would be this one. I used to enjoy it, and I’m still prepared for the worst, but I’ve long since lost interest in watching or reading anything of this sub-genre. That is why Recon 6 so wonderfully surprises me.

 

 

 

It’s actually lovely, judiciously poignant, and even metaphorical, don’t you think? Also, the story has a moral: always carry a handbag with a secure (i.e. zipper) closure.

La Fin.

 

The Quiet Zone and The Smiling Man. (Day 2: Horror short film October!)

In a regular cardio kickboxing practice, you sometimes have more to sweat out of your system than others. We usually carry a normal stress-load into the workout, getting to the gym eager to kick and punch the week into smithereens because it just feels so good. At last night’s Body Combat class, though, I wanted to kick and punch it clear into the next century.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it with politics and the way the current overall situation has divided even family members. Our political climate is a wrecking ball. Fractures sustained one, two years ago have refused to heal, if not worsened… and it’s hard to imagine how a complete break can ever be mended. When this kind of helplessness builds to fury, you get an extra visceral kickboxing workout. Politics, meet my straight right/cross punch. I’m over it.

I don’t know where this little rant came from. Oh, yes! I was going to say a little something about adrenaline and how it can fire you up, whether it’s slow-burn adrenaline or the kind of adrenaline blast you get when you’re shaken.

Or when you’re trying to escape a killer such as the ones in slasher flicks like Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and their ilk.

I’ve got a good, old-fashioned slasher flick to share with you today.

Never fear: this one’s tame for what it is! Slasher flicks are notorious for their gore, but as promised, there’s very little gore in this excellent film that runs for only eight minutes and 42 seconds. I’m talking about The Quiet Zone.

 

 

To balance things out, this next short-short horror film is supposedly based on a true story… loosely based, I would guess, with the urban legend factor doing the rest. This is 2AM: The Smiling Man.

 

 

On that note, Happy Friday Eve!