In a recent trend of referring to popular web based content as a means of retelling the modern horror story, the amount of viable source material to draw upon seems to expand in measure quicker than said supply can be depleted. We’ve seen Youtube provide us with creepypasta born series such asMarble Hornets and SyFy has tuned us in to Channel Zero for two consecutive seasons, as of this publication. Turning to the online populous for the darkest & most effective material has proven fruitful thus far, allowing for a welcomed and less-traditional narrative structure to be executed when necessary. But aside from the telling and retelling of now familiar internet urban mythos, we have many alternative avenues of unnerving narrative to adapt. Some that would, at first glance, appear far too modest in length to concisely rework as a compelling visual device. Yet, Independent voice and executive producer Vera Miao has experienced quite the opposite while doing just that.
Some, if not most of us, are familiar with the idea of 2 Sentence Horror Stories. For those who are not as acquainted with the idea, it couldn’t be more literal if we tried to make it so. These admittedly compact tales provide us with an entire feature’s worth of lore, all while keeping specifics at such a minimum, that we are already filling in these blanks with what our own psyche conjures up. It is upon finishing the climactic second half of these short stories that we swiftly find out how effective this simple literary device is at creeping us out. This of course allows for much room to spread one’s visionary wings, which Miao has done quite masterfully. Stage13, a subsidiary of Warner Bros Entertainment, has been the vessel to aid in Miao’s adaptation of this material, which has been delivered as a web based anthology series. As writer, show runner and occasional director of the series, this discussion describes the difficulties and blessings of working with a narrative so minuscule yet open-ended in order to derive an episodical end result. Another topic touched on is the fact that this series has been critical in the truthful on screen representation of varying culture, ethnicity and gender. This is admirably fitting, as in the year of Barry Jenkins, Jordan Peele and Patty Jenkins, we also have Vera Miao’s 2 Sentence Horror Stories – an unsung chapter in an all around progressive year for cinematic diversity.
All currently available episodes of 2 Second Horror Stories can be viewed for free by visiting www.Stage13.com.