Written by Charles Johnston, Still Life is more unsettling than truly horrific. In Still Life, a pill-popping driver takes is passing through a small Canadian town when he hits something: apparently a china mannequin. He goes for help but the town is populated by the lifeless mannequins - who only move when he is looking the other way. They are reminiscent of the 'angels' in the Doctor Who television series from the UK but Still Life did, of course, come first.
A horror film from Australia starring Americans, Saw, wtitten by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, is the short movie that spawned the somewhat ridiculous but extremely successful feature franchise. Whannel plays the lead character, David, who has suffered at the hands of the psychologically unhinged, wannabe puppteer. Whannell would basically revive the role in the first Saw feature film.
The Sandman was nominated for a short animation Oscar in 1993. In this twisted stop-motion short movie the figure of the Sandman, who is traditionally said to bring pleasant dreams by sprinkling sand onto the eyes of sleeping children, is turned into a much darker character. It is time for bed but a little girl is afraid of the dark upstairs of her crooked house. Once the girl is in bed, the moon-faced Sandman enters the house... but what does he seek?
A Message From Fallujah, co-written by Shane Briant and its director, Richard Gibson, won several awards on the short film festival circuit, playing particularly well in North America. Set in war-torn Iraq, A Message From Fallujah centres on Daniel Crane, an American civilian engineer who is kidnapped by an extremist group of militia. In an impossible situation, he manages to escape his captives but finds himself in a nightmarish realm outside his prison.