Top Five Short Films Directed By Women
What’s better than a scary movie? A much shorter scary movie! Well okay, maybe not, but it will impinge on your highly coveted spare time much less. So, in honor of the weekly releases of short films on the Screamfest Youtube page, and of course Women in Horror month, here are five spine-tingling short films directed by women:
1. The Stylist Directed by Jill Gevargizian
This 2016 short film revolves around a shy hairstylist named Claire, played by the enigmatic Najarra Townsend on a night at her salon. As Claire’s final client for the night arrives, things turn sinister. This filmmaker’s name may ring a bell because she popped up in the 2017 Blood Drive PSA from our post a couple of weeks ago. The Stylist has been getting praise online and throughout the festival circuit. Aside from being a general badass, Gevargizian shows off some pretty impressive filmmaking chops as well since she generally writes, directs and edits her films. The traction she has gotten from this film, as well as her involvement in projects such as the Blood Drive PSA’s has firmly planted her on my list of directors to watch and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. The Stylist is currently streaming on Shudder and according to a recent update on her Twitter, Gevargizian is currently working on developing The Stylist into a feature. Check out her website www.Sixxtape.com for more information.
2. The Barista Directed by Rebekah Mckendry
This horror comedy short was an Official Selection at Screamfest back in 2014 and has something of an ensemble cast, starring Chase Williamson of John Dies at the End, Morgan Peter Brown of Absentia and Amanda Fuller of Starry Eyes. Taking place in a coffee shop, it is about a paranoid man who is convinced one of the baristas is death. Not only is this one fun, it’s refreshingly original and has really great performances for as short as it is. With over a decade under her belt at Fangoria Entertainment, has a PhD in “Horror and Exploitation Cinema” and is now the Editor-in-Chief at Blumhouse.com, it is easy to say, this woman knows her stuff. With that level of understanding of the genre, I’m very excited for her future directorial endeavors. The Barista can be seen at Blumhouse.com
3. Innsmouth Directed by Izzy Lee
This is by far the wackiest and most NSFW film on this list. Although inspired by the works of H.P Lovecraft, primarily The Shadow Over Innsmouth, the film is a subversive take on its source material. The works of H.P Lovecraft are nothing short of controversial. He has been criticized for his racism and his predominance of male characters. It is these exact issues that have made fans of his work feel a bit alienated. However, he is a Horror Fiction legend for a reason and we horror fans try to celebrate the things we enjoy and do our best to look past its shortcomings. With Innsmouth, Izzy Lee took this idea a step further. As any good filmmaker should, she took the elements she liked about the material and filtered it through her own perspective. The result of this is an almost exclusively female cast and some pretty crazy imagery. Innsmouth follows Detective Olmstead (Diana Porter) as she travels to a small town to investigate a strange eggsack found on a dead body. Upon her arrival, she finds that Innsmouth is not just any small town. Innsmouth is currently streaming on Shudder but a teaser for the film, as well as teasers and information about her other short films can be found on her website: www.nihilnoctem.com
4. Persephone Directed by Lisa J. Dooley
Part of the Fun Size Horror anthology; Fun Size Horror: Volume One, Lisa J. Dooley brings us the story of a young girl who wakes up in a coffin with nothing but a flashlight and a pocket knife and as she makes her escape, new horrors await her. Clocking in at just under five minutes, this short is just as advertised: Fun. Even with it’s short run time, Persephone balances tension and payoff quite well and will still leave you wanting more. Fun Size Horror is a website that showcases original horror short films submitted by users. As for Lisa J. Dooley, according to the FSH website, she is currently attending USC and raising money for her thesis film. Persephone can be seen here: Funsizehorror.com
5.Monster Directed by Jennifer Kent
When Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook was released in 2014, it became an instant classic. However, like many directors’ first feature, it started out as a short. In this ten-minute version from 2005, anyone who has seen The Babadook will be able to recognize it’s framework. Monster follows a single mother, as she must protect her overactive son from a strange entity living within their home. Kent’s decision to shoot in black and white, as well as the creative camera angles make this short creepy and atmospheric in it’s own right and hints at Kent’s ultimate vision. With that being said, it is incredible to see how she grew as a filmmaker in the 10 years between the two projects and I’m very grateful that she decided to explore and expand this story. The Babadook is most definitely the feature that Monster deserved. Monster can be found on Jennifer Kent’s Vimeo page and keep an eye out for her upcoming feature The Nightingale, a drama set in 1829 Tasmania about a young woman and her hunt for revenge for the murder of her family and the aboriginal man she brings along on her journey.
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