The snow has reached Buffalo, but Horror Brew has been able to virtually escape to sunny climes – our horror hearts are in Atlanta and Matt and Cat are bringing you a sneak peek of the Buried Alive Film Festival that is running from the 14-18th at the 7 Stages Theatre!
Having missed out on our usual film fest attendance earlier in the year, we are excited for the chance to catch up with several killer shorts that are making the rounds on the horror festival circuit before the end of 2018.
First, allow us to address the overall quality of the short films at BAFF 2018. The bar for production value was obviously set extremely high by the pre-screening team and we are thoroughly impressed by the quality of film. This doesn’t mean that there weren’t some shorts filmed on a shoe string budget, just that the ones that were, are solidly constructed and executed.
Matt: “There is a fairly decent mix of all of the sub-genres and genre-combinations; body horror, erotic (ish) horror, and horror comedies seemed to dominate. BAFF does not shy away from gore and sexual content and there are definitely some WTF shorts added to the mix. Yet, I like that these WTF, balls out or Vag’s out and/or absolute gore fest shorts were not hidden away but instead well curated into a mix of many other types of horror shorts.”
Cat: “Having seen a sizable amount of horror shorts in the last 5 years, I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting to cover my eyes and/or mutter ‘Oh no, no no no’ as much as I did while screening these short films. There are some great twists on familiar tales as well as completely original concepts that are brought to life in a very satisfying way.”
Of course, as with all horror short blocks, there are some that stand out more than others. These are some of the few that we think horror fans should keep their eyes open for and to also look for future works from their creators.
Buried Alive Film Fest Favorites
This 15 min short from UK from director Alberto Corredor Marina. Preceding the screening of the feature film The God Inside My Ear (review forthcoming) and was by far one of our favorites. The plot follows a man named Kevin who is looking for answers to “questions that only the recently deceased can answer.” His quest takes him to the rusty basement of a rundown pub, where he is faced with something … well you are going to have to see it for yourself to find out.
We felt that this short’s production quality was so high; everything from the cinematography to the acting to the special FX felt professional. Plus, the story was wickedly good. So good that we can’t really say a whole lot about the plot. Find it and see it for yourselves!
With only a couple of editing and production credits, Horror Brew would love to see how Alberto Corredor Marina would tackle a full feature film or at least to give us a few more excellent shorts like Baghead.
Director Chelsea Lupkin weaves a bit of body horror with a coming of age tale in this short where, “between mean girls, her first romance, and budding hormones, Lucy begins to realize that she’s not quite like the other teenagers in her class.”
Lucy’s Tale intrigued us with its colorful and well shot imagery. From well-placed and well-executed special effects to the character progression that has you invested throughout, Lupkin maintains tension along the entire course of the story. Although we weren’t entirely satisfied with the ending, the ride itself was well worth it. It’s a bizarre dark fantasy that will leave you wanting more from Lupkin.
Exceptional Horror Comedies
The best part of a fest is being able to see such a variety of vision, film is not static and there are many ways to skin this cat. There is no better demonstration of this than in the horror comedy entries, Helsinki Mansplaining Massacre and Psycho Kino.
Like much of the horror coming out of Finland over the past few years, Helsinki Mansplaining Massacre was hilariously gory while being on the nose and socially poignant. To use its own blurb, it is “about one woman’s desperate struggle to survive a horde of men with frail egos, who just want to explain everything to her. But the biggest horror may be closer to her than she thinks.” We hope to see more from director IIja Rautsi soon!
Less gory but just as dark and hilarious was Psycho Kino. This short by director Guillem Dols of Spain features “a couple of snuff filmmakers who face a problematic shoot. One of them is experiencing a creative crisis, whilst the other one feels guilty for the crime they are about to commit. The only one who seems to be in a good mood is the victim.” Written by Dols, the dialogue was a hilariously human take on a very dark, mysterious, and serious “profession” – that of the execution snuff film. Dols’ humor is reminiscent of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s writing in What We do in the Shadow’s. Psycho Kino is silly and completely willing to leave the restraint of the short’s dark scenario while maintaining the morbid feel of the situation.
As far as horror comedy is concerned, you can’t ask for much more than these two.
Stay tuned as we bring you more coverage of shorts and features that are showing at Buried Alive. One short even has us bestowing a What The Fuck award…