Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
Fantastic Fest continues its tradition of great short films this year. Chaos Reigns Vol 1 is a collection of the most horrifying shorts that preceded the features. Mental health, clingy ghosts, and having guts are some of the subjects that are covered. La Inquilina (The Tenant) is a fun horror story from Spain. When Mia wakes up with a pain in her leg she assumes she just slept wrong. A woman on the street tells her it is something much more sinister. Horror tropes are given new meaning in this tense short.
The Familiars tackles another common theme in scary stories: witchcraft. As is common in many of these tales, it is a story of ancestry and power that has been passed along. ShadowProwler was shot during the pandemic by director Scott Derrickson. His two sons star in this home invasion thriller. It is able to bring humor and is a nice change of pace for the unnerving subgenre.
Mental health awareness was a common thread among the shorts at Fantastic Fest. Smile shows just how monstrous depression can become. Thank You For Nothing is more subtle and just as scary. Shot on 16mm, it is filled with great use of color and shadows. The camerawork does an excellent job of showing the frustration and pain the main character Shannon is going through.
Guts is probably the funniest entry. It is filled with dry humor, gore, and a great song for the end credits. Worse Than the Demon is a companion to Mad God. It gives a brief overview of Phil Tippett’s history in Hollywood and why he decided to leave in order to finish his film. Chaos Reigns Vol 1 is an enjoyable collection of short films. They are a mix of scary, funny, and informative.
Chaos Reigns Vol 1 is available on FF@Home. Check out AIPT’s ongoing coverage.
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