Lydia (Rachel Winters), returns to her home one evening and finds her front door unlocked. She is a bit taken aback because she lives there alone, since her sister, Katie, (Isabelle King) died under mysterious circumstances. Lydia takes a knife from her kitchen, and looks around her home to see if someone has broken in, but she finds nothing; it being late, she opts to go to bed.
Lydia has a nightmare about Katie. Prior to Katie’s passing, she insists that she is able to see a creature – one that absolutely terrifies her, but as stated by Lydia during the short film, it is a creature that Lydia has never seen. The longer she lives alone, however, the more her mind plays tricks on her. For example, a pile of clothing on a bedroom chair frightens Lydia as she lays looking at in the dark. Lydia suspects that it is not just garments on the chair in front of her bed, but the body of a person or creature. She does something, I would imagine many of us have done, especially during our childhood, turns on the light to verify that nothing is there. When she does, the clothing is all that is on the chair. From that moment forward, however, things occur which force Lydia, to confront the fact that Katie was perhaps right about what she claimed to have seen.
“Vicious” was not only written by the English actor, Oliver Park, but it was also his directorial debut. The film had its premiere on October 2, 2015 at the Mile High Horror Film Festival, in Denver, Colorado, and was released in the UK on Halloween of 2015. The 12 minute film is well-executed with excellent use of atmosphere, pacing, and tension. There is nothing during its short runtime that is added just for the sake of a jump scare; everything Park shows in the film is there for a reason. In addition to other members of his crew, aiding Park with “Vicious” is Matthew Walker, whose score synchs up perfectly with everything that is transpiring on screen, and helps in the creation of some unsettling moments for the viewer. “Vicious” can be seen on youtube.com.
Driving home from his sister’s Halloween party, Ethan (James Alexandrou), and Mel (Rebecca Van Cleave), get into an argument. Ethan is under the impression that Mel has been in a foul mood the entire evening, and he is actually right about that, but the reason why is not immediately made clear. Ethan attempts to add some levity to the situation, but makes a rude remark, that even though intended for Mel to only take as humorous, upsets her. She insists that Ethan pull the car over because she wants to get out. Ethan tries to diffuse the situation, but Mel is determined to get out of the car, to the point where she is opening the door, before Ethan even has a chance to pull over to the side of the street. (As an aside: Rebecca Van Cleave was the body double for Golden Globe nominee, Lena Headey, during the infamous ‘walk of shame’ scene that took place in the season five “Game of Thrones” episode “Mother’s Mercy” which aired on HBO on June 14, 2015).
Mel begins to walk down a sidewalk that is relatively deserted. One man (Sam Gittins) is watching her from the opposite side of the street; she’s hard to miss walking alone in her red dress. He discards the food he is eating and begins to follow her. The viewer can already sense that the man is up to no good, but when he pulls out a blade, as Mel turns a corner and begins walking down a back alley, we know she is in trouble, or is she?
James Webber wrote and directed “The Prey.” The plot during the film’s 8 minute runtime is straightforward, but that makes it no less enjoyable to watch. While the short film is regarded as horror, and it certainly contains a bit of gore, it also injects a bit of dark comedy. The short film, like “Vicious,” had its premiere on October 2, 2015 at the Mile High Horror Film Festival, in Denver, Colorado, and was released in the UK that same year. The film is well acted, contains good pacing, tension, and features a twist ending, that should bring a smile to your face, after you finish saying ‘yuck.’ This short horror film can also be watched on youtube.com.