Women in Horror – Short Films: Adam Peiper, written and directed by Mónica Mateo

Adam Peiper, written and directed by Mónica Mateo

Adam Peiper

Written & Directed By: Mónica Mateo

Length: 16:29 minutes
Genre: Horror/Fantasy

What It’s About: Adam Peiper begins to experience strange changes as he works stuffing envelopes in a strange factory.

Why I Like It: Although set in a single room, the short implies a larger dystopian world in which efficiency is the prime objective no matter the human cost. The purpose of Adam Peiper’s mindless task of licking envelopes and filing them away is irrelevant to the objective. His task becomes even more onerous and desperate as his body begins to horrifically change. These initial changes grow to be increasingly horrifying as they continue, all brilliantly portrayed through well executed physical effects.

Watch It:


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Women in Horror – Short Films: Murder for Dummies (2018) directed by Diona Oku

Murder for Dummies - Diona Oku

Murder for Dummies

Written & Directed By: Diona Oku

Length: 8:43 minutes
Genre: Dark Comedy/Horror

What It’s About: Two high school best friends decide to kill one of their boyfriends.

Why I Like It: Sure it focuses on two self-centered cheerleaders, who are also sometimes ditzy — but you also have two girls who support each other. Plus, the dry wit is fantastic and I love black humor. This one delighted me. I’ve seen it compared to another black comedy that came out recently, Tragedy Girls , which I haven’t seen yet. If these are indeed similar, then that movie just jumped up my list.

Watch It:


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Women in Horror – Short Film: Wake (2010) by Bree Newsome

Wake

Written & Directed By: Bree Newsome

Length: 21:29 minutes
Genre: Horror

What It’s About: “A repressed woman does away with her domineering father, freeing herself to pursue her heart’s desire. Using a local folk magic called “root-work”, she conjures a demon to aid her in creating the man of her dreams — but soon finds herself in a waking nightmare.” — Bree Newsome

Why I Like It: This short hits the perfect tone from minute one, with Charmaine’s opening words, “Everybody knows if you’re fixin’ to GOSSIP, you gotta have a little dirt on somebody. And everybody knows if you’re fixin’ to BURY, you gotta throw a little dirt on somebody. But don’t everybody know that if you’re fixin’ to CONJURE, it’s best to take a little dirt from a body…” This story of southern folklore and a woman going after her own desires is brilliantly acted and compelling from start to finish — with an ending that gave me chills.


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Women in Horror – Short Film: Monster (2005) directed by Jennifer Kent

Monster

Written & Directed By: Jennifer Kent

Length: 10:43 minutes
Genre: Horror

What It’s About: “A single mother battles her son’s fear of a monster in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.”

Why I Like It: “Monster” is the short film that was later extended into the feature length Babadook — both of which are great. In both, a woman is harangued by her overactive son and his imaginative fears. How this develops into revealing the supernatural force at work is a bit different in each, with the condensed narrative of the short adding to the dark fairy tale tone. It’s able to build a story without needing to explain much — the monster is a monster andcan be defeated. In other words, it’s possible to master one’s fears by giving them a stern talking to. I also admire the beautiful black and white cinematography with its stark shadows.


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Women in Horror – Short Film: Danger Word (2013) directed by Luchina Fisher

Friends, it is February and that means that it is Women in Horror Month. I’ll be participating by consuming books, movies, and short films written and/or directed by women — and highlighting as many as I can here on my website.

Danger Word

Directed By: Luchina Fisher
Written By: Tananarive DueSteven Barnes

Length: 18:40 minutes
Genre: Horror

What It’s About: A 13-year-old girl and her grandpa struggle to survive in a zombie infested world.

Why I Like It: The zombies are situated into the background, as such the violence and scares are subtle with the relationship between the grandfather and granddaughter being at the forefront. The writing in this regard is excellent with believable dialog and some genuinely moving moments, and Frankie Faison and Saoirse Scott both do a great job of bringing these characters to life. Every scene is well utilized, so that when the truth about the zombies is revealed, the story delivers some chilling realizations.


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