Here we finally are! (Short Horror October: Standing Woman and A Strange Calm.)

Welcome to October, friends. Welcome to SHORT HORROR OCTOBER!

If you’ve been here a while, as in longer than a year, then you know. If you know, you know.

I love film in general, but horror movies are kind of my jam, and horror shorts are often my favorites. The condensed film run-time encourages a tight narrative arc with an economy of film elements. Pacing has to be measured, yet consistent with the story’s own pulse. Technical meets the creative and the playful in short horror films. It’s always a thrill to find one that’s entertaining or engaging with solid acting performances, good writing and cinematography, and finesse on the part of the director. Sometimes there’s no horror, but in the absence of that there’s simply a beautiful or thought-provoking film.

But wait! There’s the other side of the spectrum, too: I sometimes come across a horror short with nothing to rave about in those usual ways, but that leaves me feeling something nonetheless. Sometimes it’s just a guilty pleasure. Another great thing about short films is that if they’re bad, you only wasted 12-20 minutes of your life.

All of that being said, let’s get on with it! Short Horror October here in TALC begins now. Today I bring to you Standing Woman and A Strange Calm. Enjoy, my friends.

Here’s to a lovely beginning of this magickal month!

“The Chrysalis,” “Happy Birthday,” “The Ballerina,” “The Curve,” and “Snake D*ck” (Short Horror October, post 8)

On this night of the season wherein the veil between the worlds (of the living and the dead) is the thinnest, I’m going to stay home with my little bowl of candy for the few trick-or-treaters that may come by. There aren’t many, if any, here in my neighborhood. I’m surrounded by college students on this street; there’s one family at the end of the street, and one on the other side, I think, and those are the only two who came around trick-or-treating last year. Maybe there were three…? I don’t remember now. At any rate, I’ve got the candy.

And it’s a typical Arizona October day, a clear sunny blue sky warm and mildly crisp day, and I’m hoping that maybe I’ll get to see Geronimo, who seems to have gone into hibernation. He’s been known to make surprise appearances after I’d thought he’d tucked himself in for the winter, you see. I’m hopeful. Regardless, I’ll have a Geronimo hibernation update post for you in the next week or two!

Also, I’ll post Halloween pics in the near future, likely the next time we meet here in a few days. Halloween is today, but as it’s the last day of Short Horror October 2021, I’m going to bombard you with horror shorts, instead. I’ve got five to share with you in this post, including a horror comedy bonus. Yes, my friends, this is the end-of-October Halloween Day horror short film extravaganza you knew was coming.

Hope you enjoy!

1). The Chryslis – Gore score: 0. Run-time: 9:21.

3). Happy Birthday – Gore score: .5. Run-time: 6:36.

4). The Ballerina – Gore score: 0. Run-time: 7:45.

4). The Curve – Gore score: .5. Run-time: 9:51.

BONUS Horror Comedy!! Snake D*ck – Gore score: .5. Run-time: 7:17.

The End.

I mean, the end, the end, for 2021!

Happy Halloween and blessings to you who celebrate Samhain!

“Don’t Peek” (Short Horror October, post 7)

Unbelievably, we’re two days away from Halloween. I feel like I’ve been off my game with the horror shorts this year, but if you were missing Short Horror October selections, tonight, I got you. Sit yourselves back in the dark and get ready for seven chilly minutes, because I come bearing this creeptastic little gem of a horror short called

Don’t Peek – Gore score: 0. Run-time: 6:46.

Now this, my friends, is the kind of horror short I can imagine being developed into a full-length film. I would be the first in line! There’s a territory in horror wherein the supernatural meets technology, like this one, and I’m here for it. I love your standard creepy horror flick setting, but as one who lives more or less dependently on digital technology (how did I ever get to where I was going without Google Maps?), I find good supernatual horror set in such technology to be particularly effective.

With that, I’m off to get ready for bed. I allowed myself to fall behind in my schedule tonight because I’m waking up later than usual tomorrow, but still, I want to try to stick to my discipline!

The next time I see you will be for the last Short Horror October post of the year. I may lump two or three short films into the weekend’s post. We shall see.

Now THIS one scared me. “Hello?” (Short Horror October, post 6)

My friends, I’ve watched more horror short films than I can count over the last three-four years, but I never came across one that chilled me as much as this one did. This horror short left me with my nerves in absolute shreds. Everyone is different, of course, so that which scares me may not scare you, but if nothing else, you can appreciate Hello as an all-around excellent production of a short film.

Sit back (in the dark, if possible!) and enjoy Hello – Gore score: 0. Run-time: 18:07.

On that note, I wish you good tidings. Carry on! Until the weekend, then.

“Sonant” (Short Horror October, post 5)

Good morning, lovely darklings! The way Short Horror October works is I watch horror shorts over time – over the year – and save the contenders in a draft post to review at a later date. This one that I’m posting today is a film that I added to the draft about five months ago. I just re-watched it and remembered why it landed on the consideration list. I’ll now leave it to you. You’re next. Heheh.

Here’s Sonant – Gore score: 0. Run-time: 15:59.

Have a splendiferous spooky day… night… as the case may be.

“Making Friends” (Short Horror October, post 4)

Hello! I’m back to post this mid-week’s selection for Short Horror October. If you missed last night’s Halloween decor tour post and would like to check it out, you can find it beneath this one. I’ve been doing these little bonus posts lately to keep regular life content out of the SHO posts (though I did ramble a bit in one of my recent SHO posts).

At any rate, tonight we’re getting down to business with Making Friends – Gore score: 1. Run-time: 9:49.

Enjoy!

A happy end-of-week to you all!

Feeling fine, and “Feed Your Muse” (Short Horror October, post 3)

Just to state for the record: I feel so incredibly good today. After a long summer of an odd assortment of discomforts, I’m having a blessed moment of comfort in my body, for nothing hurts (sleeping incorrectly; minor torn meniscus), and nothing itches (contact dermatitis; mosquito bites). My digestive tract feels serene. My feet feel invigorated. I don’t have so much as a painful hangnail. And in my lifetime of living with chronic illness, pains related to such are far at bay.

Emotionally, I’m still working through grief. I’m not as raw now as I was in the immediate weeks after Salem was killed at the end of June, but it’s still very much a process. I’m getting through.

All in all, it’s a fresh, clear, sunny early fall day, and I’m feeling fairly balanced. It’s bliss, my friends, and I hope that you’re all feeling good, too.

Moving on to today’s pick for Short Horror October, then, here’s Feed Your Muse – Gore score: 1.5. Run-time: 16:10. My fellow writers and artists will particularly enjoy this one, I think!

Blessings to you all, my friends!

“The Trunk” (Short Horror October, post 2)

Good evening, my friends. The bone dust has settled from last night’s post, and I’m back with this mid-week horror short. For an optimal (ahem) viewing experience, watch this one full-screen with the lights out. For even more of an impact, watch it right before going to bed, like I (unwittingly) did.

Without further ado, then, here’s The Trunk – Gore score: 1. Run-time: 6:17.

On that note, Merry Friday/whatever day it is for you!

Welcome to Halloween Season 2021! “Emma” (Short Horror October, post 1)

Greetings to you on this marvelous second day of October, my precious ghouls! After eleven months of waiting, Halloween is finally a day on our current calendar pages. I’ve changed out my honeysuckle-scented cleaning supplies for my apple cider-scented ones – the dregs of last year’s, anyway – and the décor is going up inside the house and outside. I’ve decided on my Halloween costume, and that’s coming together, too. Muhuahahaha! I’ll post pics of both the décor and the costume in due time.

I’m also excited about the spiritual significance of this very special season (alliteration not intended) soon.

For now, I’m just here to kick off SHORT HORROR OCTOBER with you. Each day this month, I’ll present at least one horror short each time I post. We’ll start with this little gem I found called Emma, just to whet our horror appetites.

And I’ll leave you to it. No witching-hour shenanegans on this end anymore, I’m afraid. (My mind-body thanks me for the discipline, though, so it’s actually amazing.)

Without further ado, here’s Emma – Gore score: 0. Run-time: 4:03.

Happy October 2021, friends!

Taurus rising + new Pacifica perfumes. Most importantly, “Vicious” (Short Horror October, post 3.)

Beginning with random: Have you ever noticed how a pink Himalayan salt lamp resembles another planet?

 

A planet with its interior sun

 

First, I wanted to say that Pacifica’s new Natural Origins line of vegan, cruelty-free perfumes are quite spooky and evocative. I tried out three of them today, as I’m looking for a new fragrance. They’re lovely. I’ve never written a perfume review before, and I’m not writing one now, but I’ll share my thoughts upon experimenting with these three. I jotted some short notes:

“High Vibration”
This smells like good luck.
It smells like sandalwood incense at midnight in a jasmine garden
It smells like somewhere you’d go to get a tarot reading
It smells like secrets

“Cosmosis”
This smells like my forgotten dream entombed in a bottle.
It smells like a forbidden carnival
It smells like sugared violets and berry-infused sweet cream
It smells like an afterthought

“Kindred Spirit”
This smells like an attic haunted by the ghost of an incurable romantic.
It smells like a sachet you’d tuck into the satin lining of a coffin
It smells like an immortal grandmother
It smells like a Victorian death

I can’t decide which one I like the best. They’re all beautiful as they dry down and warm to the body, and they’re so light and close to the skin that likely no one but me would be able to smell them.

~~~~~

Now! For tonight’s Short Horror October selection, I’ve got Vicious for your creepy viewing pleasure. Gore score: 1. Run-time: 11:53

 

 

Until Wednesday, my friends.

 

 

 

There wasn’t even a moon to blame. “Klown Skool” and “La Noria” (Short Horror October, post 2.)

“Every day is Halloween!” I came home from work today and changed my t-shirt and put a little make-up on my face and did my go-to vampire lipstick to take this derpy selfie for you:

Left the lipstick on my teeth because vampires don’t care if they get blood on theirs. [7 October 2020]

I took this pic out in my laundry room. I love it in there, and the natural lighting is ideal. I persist in my apathy when it comes to adjusting lighting and whatnot in pics. I don’t care to learn it, so I go where the light is good.

Also in the spirt of the season, let me tell you…

one of the creepiest sounds I could ever hear is that of my doorbell echoing through the house in the middle of the night, followed by the quick, rhythmic rap-rap-a-rap-rap, rap-rap! knock, and then by evenly paced, louder pounding. I’d been asleep when this happened two nights ago. I live alone. I do not answer my door when someone pounds on it after ringing the bell well after midnight. The urgency of it heightened all of my senses and propelled me out of bed.

I walked swiftly down the hallway and stopped where it opens into the living room. I waited. Nothing further. After standing on alert for a good few minutes, I went into my office and carefully raised the window blind just enough to see out from the bottom. I didn’t find anyone on my front patio, but I noticed two guys walking onto the driveway of the house directly across from me, coming from the side. They were preceded by the light of their bright flashlights, targeting the windows of the house across the street and the one on the other side further down. They also went around to the sides of the houses.

Ringing my doorbell and knocking and pounding and then walking up the street shining flashlights into my neighbors’ windows in the dead of night? Yeah, I got on the phone with Tempe Police.

The person who answered the phone told me that it’d probably been police officers at my door. She said that an intruder had broken into the house next door to me… the bro house… and the cops probably wanted my permission to enter my backyard to see whether the intruder had jumped the wall between our yards. She said that they had several officers on the scene, and she advised me to stay up and stand by in case they needed to come back over to question me.

I hung up and went back to my office window to continue spying. I did indeed count four police vehicles parked along both sides of the street, and a fifth one on the street perpendicular. I watched the cops canvassing the area, and other cops standing around in discussion. Then I went back to bed.

The next morning (yesterday morning), I drove my sleep-deprived ass to work and walked in feeling totally alert and awake, because on my short drive there, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe the person ringing my doorbell and knocking and pounding wasn’t a cop. Maybe it was the intruder, themselves! Wouldn’t the cops identify themselves with “TEMPE POLICE” while trying to get me to open the door? The woman on the phone at the station had said that it was “probably” a cop at my door. She couldn’t know for sure.

Whatever the case, the whole incident left me thinking that maybe I should get window coverings for the window and sliding glass door in my kitchen and dining rooms, because what if someone ever does jump the wall or the fence? Last thing I want is to be watched from my own backyard. My kitchen and dining room comprise a brilliant fishbowl when it’s dark outside. The situation is bad for my PTSD, in general.

~~~~

Let’s get on with today’s Short Horror October film selections, shall we?!

One of these two short films made my scalp prickle with the creeps, and the other one made me cry. It’ll be obvious which one was which after you watch them both. These excellent films are low on the gore-score.

First, I’ll present you with Klown Skool, if I may. Gore score: 1.5. Run-time: 5:47

Next, we’ve got La Noria. This one is a proverbial feast for your eyes, my friends. It’s an animated film, and it is absolutely breathtaking. I recommend that you watch this film even if you’re not a fan of horror. Gore score: 1. Run-time: 12:59

See you again late on Saturday night!

Let the ghoulfest begin! “Oscar’s Bell” and “Not Alone in Here” (Short Horror October, post 1 + little life updates)

October got off to an auspicious start when, at work, a couple of co-workers and I speculated as to whether you could claim workman’s comp for demonic possession. We weren’t even talking along the lines of October or Halloween. It came up naturally in brief, in-passing conversation. We were laughing and joking about it, of course, but in retrospect, it was a little spooky.

Here at home, I changed out the t-shirt on my office closet:

 

Michael Myers, my favorite boogeyman of lore from Halloween (1978), my favorite classic horror flick

 

Speaking of, you know how your phone will periodically display a message about system updates ready to be installed? And you can either click to start the process, or click to delay it by setting a future time? On my old phone, I could delay it as often as I needed to. On my new phone – the message recently came up for the first time – I was able to delay the updating maybe three or four times before it stopped giving me a choice. The last time the notification popped up, there was no option to delay, no way to bypass the message. The only thing I could do was click to start the system updates installation process, and my phone was out of commission until it was completed. It took a good while.

Over my annoyance, I could only think but what if I was in a horror movie with Michael Myers stalking me in the house? The updating took long enough that if I needed to call 9-1-1 in the event of a deranged intruder creeping around with a weapon, I would be dead before I could get into my phone to place the call. My phone will have decided that I delayed the system updates installation too many times, and my punishment was murder.

Truly a dangerous idiosyncrasy of the phone, if you ask me. It’s the only thing about this phone that I don’t like, but it’s an important thing. We need our phones in case of emergencies. If the phone insists on installing system updates before you can place an emergency call….

But I still love my phone. And now that I know how it is, I’ll allow the updates sooner. I’ll set it to install them while I’m sleeping. Lesson learned, Google.

Little life update: I took yesterday afternoon off to go to the V.A. to address my hand issue, and I managed to get everything done! I didn’t have to make another appointment with orthopedics after seeing my primary care doctor, after all. Ortho took me as a walk-in. All told, I got my annual physical, a flu shot in my left arm, a pneumonia shot in my right arm (recommended because I had pneumonia back in January), and the cortisone injection in my left thumb. I got stuck with all kinds of needles, and I was so happy about it. (More on the cortisone injection forthcoming.)

~~~~~

On that note, let’s talk about short horror films! I’ve been watching and selecting these excellent titles for months upon months in anticipation of Short Horror October, and today, I’m posting the first two for your spooky viewing pleasure. This year, I’m going to give each short film what I’ll call a “gore score” (on a scale of 1-10, with 1 having little to no gore, and 10 being extremely gory) as a warning to you who may not be into gore. Today’s films involve no gore at all. Turn your lights off – or down, at least, so you can properly see the pictures – and enjoy!

This first one is called Oscar’s Bell. Gore score: 1. Run-time: 11:57

 

 

Next, we have Not Alone in Here. Gore score: 1. Run-time: 6:18

 

 

More to come, my friends. Stay safe out there!

 

 

Last one! “Next Floor” and “The Herd” (Short Horror October, post 6)

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!)