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.
Written and directed by FILMSshort competition winner Chris Keller, 20 Hz played at many horror film festivals, proving he can turn his hand to various genres. The idea behind this horror short film is that, if human hearing is only capable of detecting sound waves between 20 and 20,000 Hz, then there are sounds around us that are going unnoticed. What if one of these unheard sounds was a warning that something nasty was lurking close by?
The whole title of this brilliant animation is The Facts In The Case Of Mister Hollow. It was co-directed by Rodrigo Gudiño and Vincent Marcone with the writing credit attached to Gudino. Once again, Canada brings us the best in animation with this deceptively simple short horror flick. It is apparently based upon a real-life photograph from the 1930s (although I am awaiting confirmation on this), while its title references The Facts In The Case of M. Valdemar, a short story by the grandfather of horror, Egdar Allen Poe.
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.