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Dread X: Top 10 OUTBREAK BREAKOUT Short Horror Films!

Earlier this month, Dread Central and Epic Pictures launched The Outbreak Breakout Short Film Contest, and we were overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of responses. We’ll be announcing the winners early next week, but in the meantime, we decided to share the Top 10 entries!

Filmmakers and enthusiasts were challenged to create a 2-minute short film inspired by the COVID-19 quarantine—using their cell phones!

The Grand Prize Winner will take home a $500 cash prize; Second Place will get $200 in Dread store merchandise and Third Place will get $100 in Dread store merchandise.

Mutant Bloodsuckers from the Future
by Juan Diaz (aka @zbudgetdirector)

Synopsis:
The year, 2255 A.D and most of the world have become mutant bloodsuckers. J.D Stryker has come from the distant future, to find a cure for the deadly pathogen.

Director’s Statement:
For this competition, I wanted to make an Italian post-apocalyptic film, with a plot loosely based on the COVID-19 pandemic.

All Full
by Keith Krass

Synopsis:
A homicidal maniac targets a hotel under quarantine in this horror/comedy short directed by & starring Keith Krass.

Director’s Statement:
When I’m not making films I work as a night watchman in an old hotel. The place has been empty lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which inspired me to shoot this mini horror flick about quarantine patients who check in but don’t check out, heavily influenced by The Shining, Psycho, Tales from the Crypt, and Creepshow. Enjoy!

The Pandemic
by Ben DeAtley

Synopsis:
As the world is under lock own and the public is warned to stay home, one couple is about to find out that home isn’t always the safest place to be. They thought they were ready. Supplies, food, and extra toilet paper. But nothing can prepare them for the horror that awaits. How far will someone go to get what they need during… The Pandemic!?

Director’s Statement:
What if you are under a “stay at home order” and there is a home invasion? What if you are under a “stay at home order” and make a 2-minute short film on only your cell phone?

It’s Gonna Be Okay!
by Michael Roddy

Synopsis:
The Quarantine of 2020  is continuing and young Senior High School Girl is sharing her enthusiasm for the future.

Director’s Statement:
The COVID-19 Quarantine has and will continue to affect people differently. This was a way to blend the hopefulness of the future with a little bit of ironic dread, as the eventual outcome of this quarantine will continue to impact culture long after this.

The 48th Hour
by Ryan Valdez

Synopsis:
During a world pandemic, we discover the virus counteracts with sunlight, burning the carries, enabling the night hours for them to roam freely and terrorize the city. We follow a couple who take refuge in their home, only to find out one of them is infected trying to make an escape, shortly after the lockdown curfew is initiated.

Director’s Statement:
During this awful time, it’s interesting to teeter back and forth on the concept of mass hysteria or reality and putting our protagonist in a position to possibly be the antagonist. As Norman Bates one said, “We all go a little mad sometimes.”

Dead Inside
by Clint Carney

Synopsis:
A man is trapped inside his home with his dead wife as she returns to life.

Director’s Statement:
Thank you to all who have taken the time to watch my film. Making a film by myself has given me even more respect for those crew members whose talent I normally rely on so much. Congrats to all the other filmmakers entering this contest for being able to complete their films with limited resources during the quarantine!

Breathe
by Christopher Kahler

Synopsis:
Paranoia and confinement take their toll on a man quarantined with a dead body and constant news updates.

Director’s Statement:
Stay smart, stay in, and stay safe! We’re all in this together and we’ll get through this together!

Unknown Caller
by Dekland Jones

Synopsis:
Dan makes his way through another day of isolation when an unknown caller warns him of the intruders closing in on him. As the intruders storm their way into his house, Dan realizes what they’ve come to take.. his sanity.

Director’s Statement:
I like making movies and drinking tea.

Unknown
by Jim Ojala

Synopsis:
Quarantined at a bunker warehouse, a man receives an unknown phone call.  It’s a doctor that reveals the man’s test results to a highly contagious, deadly virus; he’s positive.  His rare, unrealized immunity has suppressed any contagious symptoms.  His daughter may not be so lucky.  How he handles what he has unknowingly done to her may decide the fate of a potential vaccine.

Director’s Statement:
During this pandemic, a lot of people are not feeling self-worth or confidence in where they fit in the world anymore, sometimes to detrimental results.  I think it’s important to remind people how valuable they are and that their significance might be just around the corner.

The Green Shit
by Andrew Bowser

Synopsis:
A John Carpenter inspired take on Romeo and Juliet during the apocalypse. 

Director’s Statement:
I wanted to make something that dealt with my personal fears surrounding this current pandemic – but place it in a more stylized/Sci Fi environment. It was important to me to abide by the social distancing rules, which meant “self-shooting” and never being close than 6 feet to another actor. I’m proud of what we accomplished with these restrictions! 

Congratulation to all of the Outbreak Breakout Short Film Contest finalists! Stay tuned to find out who wins. We’ll also be announcing the “Second Wave” Outbreak Breakout Short Film Contest soon!

What do you think of these Outbreak Breakout short films? Which are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.

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Written by Josh Millican

Josh Millican is the Editor in Cheif at Dread Central.

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