Here I am – back after a year to cover another set of the horror shorts competitions at SLIFF (Here’s last year’s post for those interested). This year, the horror, as it usually does, got combined with science fiction. There were ten shorts that played starting at 10:00 last Friday night. I sat through them, and I can honestly say that I wasn’t as happy as I was last year. But, let’s not get the ghost before the boo. Without further ado, here’s my thoughts on the 2017 SLIFF Horror and Science Fiction shorts competition.
I Am The Doorway is a short story written by none other than Stephen King. It was released in his 1978 short story collection The Night Shift. It’s a bit of an odd story, but it’s a favorite of lots of King enthusiasts, particularly because it’s so different. Stephen King is also famous for allowing junior, independent filmmakers to make his films by selling the rights for $1 (known as “Dollar Babies”), provided they do not make money off of them. This has caused this story to pop up again and again in short film interpretations.
This leads me into this film, which is shot in a POV format. I didn’t really like this one. There’s pretty much no sound besides dark and ominous tones, and the colors are all over the place. I understand what they were going for – it’s supposed to be confusing and almost psychedelic, but I feel like this was just overkill.
However, I will concede that the effects, even though I wasn’t a huge fan, were done pretty well. The jump scares were, well, jump scares. Overall I wouldn’t suggest it, and I’m giving it a “D”.
Laboratory Conditions went in a direction I really wasn’t expecting. Starting with an opening featuring none other than Marisa Tomei as its star! First a body goes missing, and then she stumbles across an experiment.
The acting here was pretty good, as you’d expect from one that features both Tomei and Minnie Driver. I also was very happy with the story. It did what a short should do – it set the story up quickly, and left us thinking about the implications of the story. The effects (particularly on the computer) weren’t my favorite, but that is more of a stylistic choice. I really enjoyed the ending as well – and I’m giving it a “B+” and one of my stars!
Revelation: City of Haze (2017) 14 minutes
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"