Halloween is the perfect time to watch a good scary movie. But with so many horror movies out there, how do you pick one? We’ve compiled a list of spooky and horror short films that are:
- 2 to 14-minute long (so you have time to watch more!)
- sorted by genre, so you know what to expect (or do you?)
So, without further ado, here are 13 spooky short films for you to watch this Halloween!
“Monster in the House” Horror Short Films
“Monster in the house” is one of the 10 movie genres defined by famous screenwriter Blake Snyder(1) – it revolves around the presence of an evil creature in a confined space, preferably prompted by a sin that has been committed.
Here are 3 short films from the “monster in the house” genre:
The classic quest that goes very, very wrong. A group of adventurers in search of a mythological object make the worst discovery they can possibly imagine. Enjoy an intense 13-minute horror ride, directed by J.M. Logan.
Jump scares! We love this grungy super short (2 min) for the aesthetics that shooting on 35mm film conveys. Ah, and did we mention jump scares? Directed by Ross McGowan.
What if you could NOT get away with not picking up after your dog? Gruesome and funny, directed by James Button.
Short Films with Supernatural Transformations
The supernatural transformation is a staple of horror and fantasy films. It can be used for various purposes, such as:
- to create an atmosphere of fear and suspense
- to show how a character is psychologically affected by the events that happen in their lives
- to express hidden desires that need to be fulfilled.
We’ve selected for you 3 short films with supernatural transformations:
This one will make your skin crawl (spoiler alert: pun intended). A visceral rollercoaster in which a young woman’s illness takes a disturbing turn. Directed by Keir Siewert.
“Man-tis!” is a homage to classic creature films (think David Cronenberg’s “The Fly”), but mixed with comedy (think Edgar Wright’s “Spaced”) and we love it. Directed by Chris Stewardson.
Another one starring the talented Craig McDonald-Kelly, I promise he didn’t pay me to include it. Let’s just say this bite-sized Klipist favourite will leave you hungry for more. Also directed by Ross McGowan (he didn’t pay me either).
Paranormal Short Films – Dealing With the (Not Quite) Dead
If you’re a fan of haunted houses, this section is probably for you! Paranormal elements never fail to bring mystery, suspense, and drama to a story. But beyond that, what makes ghost movies so fascinating is that they often explore in a creative way the concept of death and what it means to be alive.
So here are 3 (serious and/or funny) paranormal short films:
A special forces squad, called Deadlock, captures ghosts and uploads them into a server. We can’t really say more without spoiling it! An incredibly cinematic sci-fi short film directed by Aqsa Altaf & John X. Carey.
As a forensic investigator, you never quite know what your day might look like – but surely you don’t imagine you would once find yourself communicating with a corpse… and conducting a most unusual interview to identify the killer. Directed by James Newman.
In Edinburgh, the council paranormal patrol unit keeps the undead under control. “Ghostbusters”-inspired mockumentary with serious “Peep Show” vibes, directed by Robert Duncan.
Simply Spooky: Dark & Thriller Short Films
Want more suspense, mystery, and while we’re at it, a good murder wouldn’t hurt either (figure of speech)? We’ve got you covered – we have selected for you 4 thriller short films that have done a great job at setting a cinematic dark atmosphere:
A surreal workplace fantasy in which a maltreated receptionist decides to take matters into her own hands. Hands which may well contain grenades. Directed by Ella Jones.
If your rock band has lost inspiration, why not murder someone? That should do it, shouldn’t it? This short film about what NOT to do is directed by Mark van Heusden.
A beautifully dark crime thriller about a university student with an unusual part-time job. Red Madrell is stunning in this short directed by Alix Austin.
An endless corridor of locked doors holds a man prisoner as his mind begins to disintegrate. This experimental short film is directed by James Mansell.
We hope you enjoy this selection! Also – horror, supernatural and thriller films are not just for Halloween, so feel free to bookmark this page and discover more short films all year long, or subscribe to our newsletter to receive content straight to your inbox.
References & Additional resources
(1) “Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need”, Blake Snyder (2005).
(2) “Writing the Horror Movie”, Marc Blake & Sara Bailey (2013).