From the Archives: Check Out Killer Horror Short Where Is It?

From the Archives: Check Out Killer Horror Short Where Is It?

In the interest of getting “hard” copies of my work under one roof, I plan to spend the next few weeks posting the entire archive of my film journalism here on ScullyVision. With due respect to the many publications I’ve written for, the internet remains quite temporary, and I’d hate to see any of my work disappear for digital reasons. As such, this gargantuan project must begin! I don’t want to do it. I hate doing it. But it needs to be done. Please note that my opinions, like everyone’s, have changed a LOT since I started, so many of these reviews will only represent a snapshot in time. Objectivity has absolutely no place in film criticism, at least not how I do it. 

Without further ado, I present to you: FROM THE ARCHIVES.

Originally posted on Cinema76.

With IT breaking records and bridging the considerable gap between niche and mainstream filmgoers, director Andy Muschietti has now become a fixture in the world of horror. He’ll be helming the IT sequel, after which point he will likely be granted the creative freedom to do just about anything her wants, just so long as it says “From the Twisted Genius Behind IT” on the poster. And to think, it all began with a short film.

In 2008, Muschietti released Mama, a three-minute film which showcased a scare gimmick and a creepy creature design. It attracted the attention of Guillermo del Toro who helped fund a full-length version, which was enough of a critical and financial success to land Muschietti the job of helming IT. From short film to king of the horror game in less than a decade. Impressive. Most impressive. His rise mirrors that of David F. Sandberg, whose gimmicky short Lights Out was also given the feature-length treatment and led to his involvement in the newly-minted ‘Conjuring Universe’ by way of Annabelle: Creation. My favorite director working in the genre today, Mike Flanagan, did the same with Oculus. The list goes on: Rare Exports, The Pact, Excision, Grace, The Babadook, and even Saw. In horror, a solid short can be a window to greater things.

Short film has never been priority viewing for me, but lately my taste for anthology horror and my interest in seeking the next expandable scare concept have made perusing YouTube and Vimeo for such a thing my new favorite pastime. And with Halloween on the horizon, I’d like to bring you in on some of the fun.

Filmmakers Todd Spence (@Todd_Spence) and Zak White (@TheZakW) have put together an effective horror short called Where is It. It’s a little bit Unfriended, a little bit The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger, all in a found footage package with none of the contrivance inherent to the form. It’s also about a haunted mirror. I LOVE haunted mirrors (See: Oculus). Double kudos to the filmmakers for constructing a jump-scare which relies on dread and imagery rather than shreiky gimmickry. Check it out:

So what do you think? Is Where is It is something which could one day be made into a feature-length film, or is it best served in short form? Sound off in the comments!

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