Staying in this evening to pass out candy to those trick or treaters so that they won’t egg your house? Not wanting to have to stop and start a horror feature every five minutes throughout the process? Look no further! Here are five bite-sized horror flicks you can watch between that incessant doorbell ringing which will assuredly get you into the Halloween spirit!
#1. United Monster Talent Agency
Having premiered at Screamfest 2010, FX legend and filmmaker Greg Nicotero’s short film United Monster Talent Agency is still sure to whet your appetite for some old fashioned monster mayhem. Clocking in at brisk eight minutes, the flick doubles not only as a pitch perfect send up of those Movie Tone reels of yesteryear, but as a wonderful recreation of some of Universal’s classic monsters. Starring Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever), The Crow writer David Schow, filmmakers Frank Darabont and Eli Roth, and more, Nicotero delivers the goods with visits from The Gillman, Dracula, The Wolf Man, and the list goes on.
#2. Season’s Greetings
A prequel to the 2007 feature anthology film Trick ‘r Treat, filmmaker Michael Dougherty first realized his vision of Sam (our favorite Halloween mascot) in the 1996, four-minute short animated film Season’s Greetings, his senior thesis film while attending NYU. Much like the feature version, it’s not for the little ones; but oh, is it good!
Actress Cerina Vincent makes her second appearance in our list in filmmaker John Fitzpatrick’s seven-minute short film Skypemare, which centers on the character of Alison (Vincent), who while chatting with her best friend Jenna (Annika Marks) over Skype while alone on Halloween night, finds that treats are better than tricks. A cool Scream’esque vibe, coupled with some crisp cinematography and Vincent’s entirely believable performance, conspire for a delightful bit of suspenseful filmmaking.
#4. Tales of Halloween
(Currently Streaming on Netflix)
While not technically a short, this feature is an anthology, so “bite-sized” applies! Featuring ten short films directed by well-known genre directors (SAW’s Darren Lynn Bousman, The Hills Run Red’s Dave Parker, Soulmate’s Axelle Carolyn, Big Ass Spider’s Mike Mendez, and more), the action is centered in an American town whose denizens are terrorized by ghouls, aliens, and killers on one Halloween night. Featuring many faces familiar to genre fans, and loaded with blood-soaked laughs, scares, and a delightful recreation of our favorite holiday, it’s a must watch!
#5. Yummy Meat: A Halloween Carol
Also having premiered at Screamfest (and full disclosure, I wrote and co-produced it), Yummy Meat: A Halloween Carol was directed by Scary Endings series and Skypemare director John Fitzpatrick and serves as Episode 4 of their first season. Starring Miracle Laurie (Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse”), Luke Albright, Lucas Jaye, and Lou Ferrigno, Jr., the five-minute sixteen-second short takes place on Halloween night, when snarky dentist Amber (Laurie) hands out toothbrushes to the neighborhood kids, only to discover that one of them may soon be brushing bits of her from his teeth. Bottom line? Give those trick or treaters what they want!