Compact Macabre: A Selection of Horror Short Films, Part 3 of 3

Hey there, Fright Fans! Jenny here, bringing you the belated wrap-up of our Compact Macabre blog series. I’m here to bring you the weird, the strange, and the downright twisted that the Short Attention Span Theater has to offer. So without further ado, here are ten more shorts for those days when you don’t have time for a movie marathon!

Alexia, written and directed by Andre Borghi

Alexia is a 2013 Argentinian short that absolutely won my heart. Franco, played by Sergio Berón, tries to delete his ex-girlfriend (the titular Alexia) from his social media, with shocking results. Borghi manages to inject a commentary on love and loss into a tight 9 minutes, and also manages to fit some cool, creepy effects for good measure.

Bits and Pieces, written and directed by Jenn Wexler

This 3-minute, fun-sized treat was created for the 2013 Shock Till You Drop “Halloween Night” series, and stars Larry Fessenden as the guy with the best treats in town. As his nosy neighbor soon finds out though, he also has some tricks waiting!

The Cat With Hands, written and directed by Robert Morgan

This 4 minute film is short, but I wouldn’t describe it as sweet. Part live-action, part stop-motion, this film centers around the legend of a cat who wants to be human, and steals body parts from unsuspecting passersby. Warning: this film may make you doubt your cat’s intentions when they reach for you.

Firebase Volume 1, directed by Neil Blomkamp, and written by Neil Blomkamp and Thomas Sweterlitsch

We talked about 2005’s Alive in Joburg, the short that led to District 9, but Blomkamp has a vast catalogue of short films. In 2017, he started Oats Studios, a film studio dedicated to producing short films with the potential to become feature films. My favorite short from Oats Studios is Firebase, a 27-minute horror tale set in Vietnam. This short feels like the love child of Coppola and Lovecraft, and tells the story of the River God, as told by a soldier and some amazing visual effects. Sadly, Blomkamp’s plan to crowd-fund this into a full-length feature didn’t work out, but I hope someday that does come to fruition, because I need MORE of this story!

Ghost Train, written and directed by Lee Cronin

This Irish/Finnish short follows brothers Peter and Michael as they make their annual pilgrimage to the abandoned amusement park where their friend Sam disappeared when they were children. This year, however, the ghost train ride is ready to collect the remainder of their fare.

The House Call, directed by David Schuler and written by David Schuler and Julie Page

This 13-minute short follows a psychiatrist returning to work after a family tragedy. She is sent to make a house call, and quickly realizes it is more than it seems. If you love an exorcism story like I do, give this one a look!

Other Side of the Box, directed by Caleb J. Phillips and written by Caleb J. Phillips and Nick Tag

This 15-minute short has won 5 awards, including the Grand Jury Award for Short Films at SXSW, with good reason. A couple is making dinner when an old friend shows up with a cheerily wrapped gift, and makes a hasty exit. Opening the gift makes it immediately clear that this is more a curse than a gift. This odd, unsettling little film has a vibe that I would describe as Poe meets The Ring, and the filmmakers pack a lot of punch into 15 minutes.

The Strange Thing About the Johnsons, written and directed by Ari Aster

If you’re familiar with the work of Ari Aster, it shouldn’t surprise you that this, his directorial debut, is deeply disturbing. I would be remiss if I didn’t include a big trigger warning, as sexual assault is the cornerstone of this film. This film follows the Johnsons, a seemingly perfect family with some serious dark secrets. Raw, heartbreaking and bleak, this 29-minute film is not for everyone, but is a solid precursor to the direction Aster takes in later works.

Teaching Jake About the Camcorder, Jan ’97, created by Brian David Gilbert and Karen Han

This 10-minute short centers around a video of a father (played by creator Brian David Gilbert) showing his son how to use the camcorder, an “expensive piece of equipment.” As the tape is played over and over, the footage gets stranger and stranger. This odd little film won’t leave you with any answers, but is still a fun ride!

Through the Night, written and directed by Lee Cronin

This Irish short is brought to us by Lee Cronin, who also gave us Ghost Train. This film doesn’t have an amusement park, but is still a wild ride! It follows a couple who has been dealing with one partner’s chronic sleep issues, until they escalate to something far more sinister one night.

And there you have it-ten bite-sized samples of the best horrors in the dish. You can find Chris’s selections Here and Joe’s selections Here. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Compact Macabre: A Selection of Horror Short Films, Part 2 of 3

Hello, fellow fright fans, Joe here with the second installment of our three part blog series featuring short horror film recommendations. Originally this was supposed to be a full episode of The Podcast Macabre, AND take place prior to Christmas, so that’s why I’m going to start my recommendations off with a Christmas horror short (despite the fact we’re past that and facing down the end of 2022 at this a point)…

HUMBUG, Written by Molly Sanders and Directed by Justin Lee and Matt Thiesen

This was my favorite of the short films I saw on the Saturday I attended the Season’s Screamings holiday horror convention in Pasadena earlier this month. HUMBUG starts out as a battle of wills between a holiday cheer obsessive and a goth, “bah humbug” neighbor. It quickly goes in directions I was not expecting, and turns into something that I won’t spoil here. Based on the applause the crowd erupted into that Saturday afternoon, it was many others favorite of the day as well.

THE BLUE DOOR, Written by Ben Clark and Megan Pugh and Directed by Paul Taylor

Gemma Whelan gives a fantastic performance as a home care nurse who stumbles across a mysterious blue door in her patient’s residence. While nearly free of dialogue, we still get a perfect sense of the confusion, panic, and fear the lead goes through in this tight, 9 minutes of terror. This felt like a Stephen King short story that would have been right at home in his anthology SKELETON CREW.

CLEARWATER, Written and Directed by Rob Jabbaz

After seeing the pure chaos that Rob Jabbaz gave us with THE SADNESS, I wanted to see what else he’d done. That led me to this gorgeous looking sci-fi horror film about a sunbather, Joan LoLuo, in New Taipei City, Taiwan who gets more than she bargained for after a mosquito bites her. This is another short selection from me that has little to no dialogue, but the visuals and performance convey everything you need. Not only is the river location in New Taipei City stunning, the CGI work is breath taking.

DAWN OF THE DEAF, Written and Directed by Rob Savage and based on a story by Jed Shepherd

From the minds that brought us the 2020 surprise horror hit HOST, comes a infection/zombie tale. Much like in Stephen King’s CELL, an unexplained sonic pulse turns everyone who can hear it into blood thirsty killers. The deaf/hearing impaired population are then forced to survive in this new blood soaked reality. Caroline Ward and Haley Bishop, also in the before mentioned HOST, give some great performances as Sam and Nat. I feel like this premise is just ripe for a limited television series, and I can imagine it rolling out much like Netflix’s BLACK SUMMER.

LAURA HASN’T SLEPT, Written and Directed by Parker Finn

After being pulled off the internet entirely for a bit, we now have access to Finn’s short film that he adapted 2022’s SMILE from. In the short film Laura, played by Caitlin Stasey who also returns in SMILE, talks to a therapist, played by the always great Lee Temple, about a reoccurring nightmare she’s having. What I love about this is LAURA has the same exact, uneasy vibe Parker Finn gave us with SMILE, and you can see the shared DNA between both projects, but they’re both their own thing. It’s easy to see why and how this got developed into a feature, and proves Parker Finn is one to watch.

LITTLE WILLY, Written and Directed by Andrew Bowser

Andrew Bowser is also our lead, playing Adam Castle who’s a former child actor in a CHUCKY like series called LITTLE WILLY. Adam struggles through attending horror conventions, with the help of his friends Adrienne Barbeau and Zach Galligan (playing themselves), where he’s continually disrespected by “fans” and upstaged by the screen used Little Willy doll. Things go a little sideways when Little Willy begins talking to Adam, but things go seriously wrong when Adam starts listening.

TERRIFIER (2011), Written and Directed by Damien Leone

For some frustrating reason I’m not able to embed the actual short film, but it may be found HERE. Not watching this short until after seeing TERRIFIER 2 was a treat, no pun intended, as it was great to see how fully formed the idea of Art the Clown was, but also how the concept evolved. Here Mike Giannelli takes on Art, and there seems to be more of a mean and menacing streak to his performance…and I know that’s saying something as David Howard Thornton’s performance is deliciously wicked as well. It’s also fun to see how good Leone was from the jump with his practical effects work, yet it’s on a whole other level by the time we reach TERRIFIER 2.

TO MY MOTHER AND FATHER, Written and Directed by Can Evrenol

Evrenol’s BASKIN (2015), itself a feature expanded from a short by the same name, has stuck with me since my first viewing. So, when I came across this short about a boy who finds a mask and decides to use it in order to scare his parents I had to watch. It did not disappoint, and goes from an almost innocent desire to play a prank, to extremely uncomfortable, to beyond insanity.

USED BODY PARTS, Written and Directed by Venita Ozlos-Graham

This short film may be rented or purchased via Vimeo, or watched on Shudder as part of their Etheria series (Season 3, Episode 9). USED BODY PARTS tells the story of two friends stopping at the wrong place to refuel their vehicle. I first saw this as part of the 2016 Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival in Charleston, SC back in 2016, where it was nominated for Best Short Film, and nominated and won for Best Special Effects.

At the time Ozlos-Graham said it was a “proof of concept” short that she hoped could be funded and expanded into a features. Sadly, I don’t believe that ever happened, but at least we have this bloody good time still available to watch. You’ll probably recognize the filming location (Four Aces Movie Ranch in Palmdale, CA) as it appears in such films as HOUSE OF A 1,000 CORPSES, IDENTITY, countless TV series, and even one of Chris’ choices, SNAKE DICK, the last time we talked about horror shorts.

THE WOLF WHO CAME TO DINNER, Written and Directed by Jem Garrard

I’m ending with the most family friendly recommendation on my list, as I adored this short for obvious werewolf related reasons. Bea Barkley (played wonderfully by Audrey Smallman) and her older sister Cate are mortified when their mom has her new boyfriend over for dinner. Cate is freaking out because he’s her French teacher from school. Horror obsessed Bea is freaking out because she believes Adrian Hough’s Henry Woodcraft is actually a werewolf.

What unfolds is a dinner scene that reminded me quite a bit of the dinner scene in THE LOST BOYS. I have to think that may have played a part in Jem’s creation of this tale, and they sure did get the vibe right while still taking it in their own direction. This short makes me want to find more of Jem’s work, and reminds me that we need **WAY** more werewolf related horror!

I hope y’all enjoyed my list of recommendations. If you missed the first part by Chris you may find it HERE, and Jenny will be along next week with her list of short horror films to close out the series.

SYNCHRONIC [Beyond Fest 2020 Film Review]

By: Joe Meyers 10/6/2020

We’re huge fans of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s films here at The Podcast Macabre. So, to say I was excited to score a ticket to see their latest movie at the Misson Tiki Drive-In as part of Beyond Fest 2020 is an under statement. SYNCHRONIC is easily their most ambitious movie to date. Set in New Orleans, friends and paramedics Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) begin to see increasingly bizarre deaths as they work the night shift.

Steve is the single, party, and “play the field” guy while Dennis is married to Tara (Katie Aselton), and has kids. Secretly Steve longs for what Dennis has, while Dennis seems to have hit a “midlife crisis”, and feels trapped by his family. The guys eventually tie a new designer drug, Synchronic, to the odd cases they’ve seen just in time for Dennis’ teenaged daughter Brianna (Ally Ioannides) to disappear after taking it while hanging out with friends.

The lives of both Steve and Dennis begin to unravel in different ways, leading Steve to go around town in an attempt to purchase all of the available Synchronic so nobody else would get hurt from the supposedly harmless drug. At one of his stops Steve is confronted by a man who wishes to purchase the Synchronic from him at triple what he paid for it. Steve declines, even when offered $2,000.00. We later discover the man is Dr. Kermani (Ramirez Monsef), and he designed Synchronic. As Dr. Kermani reveals the truth behind, Steve is sent on a time-traveling journey in an attempt to rescue Brianna.

I love the premise of SYNCHRONIC, and the visuals people see as they get high on the drug are impressive. Anthony Mackie was a clear standout for me, but the whole cast delivered. My only complaint there is Katie Aselton as Tara didn’t get nearly enough screen time. As with their other films, Benson and Moorhead utilize every cent of the budget they can on screen. The effects work looked great, and nothing made the movie seem budget constricted or small.

Fans of Benson and Moorhead should definitely check SYNCHRONIC out when they’re able. Anyone who loves time-travel stories would do well to get their eyes on the film as well. It’s a great addition to their filmography, and further promises nothing but great things for their future. In a pre-recorded intro to the film Benson and Moorhead revealed they’re quarantining together because they’ve been working on their next project, which went into pre-production as of yesterday. They didn’t drop any hints at what it’ll be about, but I’ll be there to watch whatever new adventure they wish to share.


By Joe Meyers

I like to think most people my age discovered Sasquatches the same way I did, the Bigfoot episode of IN SEARCH OF… that originally aired on April 28, 1977. As I would have only been two years old at the time, it was surely a rerun sometime during the show’s initial six year run that I caught. Young me was glued to the television screen from the moment Leonard Nimoy began speaking and the synth theme music played. Just the still photo from the Patterson-Gimlin film alone turned me into THE X-FILES’ Fox Mulder, I *WANTED* to believe. So, when I found out Max Brooks, author of the amazing Zombie epic WORLD WAR Z, was releasing a book about Bigfoot it was immediately added to my summer read list.


DEVOLUTION is about a reporter trying to piece together what happened to the people living in a secluded, high-end, eco-friendly community of Greenloop about a year after a volcanic eruption of Mount Rainier. The story unfolds via journal entries kept by Kate Holland, a Greenloop resident who is still missing at the time of the investigation, interviews with experts on zoology, and a Forest Service officer. What begins as a tale of people trying to live in harmony with Mother Nature turns into a nightmare when the residents discover they aren’t the only living things in the area searching for food and survival.

After the eruption of Mount Rainier, Greenloop is cut off from the outside world. The one access road to the community is impassable and the drone deliveries from Seattle they relied upon for food, supplies, and other goods were no longer possible. As the group tries to decide the best course forward, do they wait to be saved or venture out to find help?, it becomes clear the wildlife, spoiler…it’s TOTALLY Sasquatches!!!!, has taken an interest in them.

While I appreciate the amount of research that must have gone into this novel, I will say the first half of it was a struggle at times. None of the characters were really grabbing my interest at first, and it all felt more like set up than world and/or tension building. Thankfully that all changed around page 130. Once we get the first clear Sasquatch interaction with the community the book had me locked in tight. The final half of DEVOLUTION s the pure definition of “page turner.“

Even with my feelings on the beginning, the sheer quality of the last half of the book has firmly planted this on my “I recommend” list. Especially if you’re a fan of Max’s and/or a fan of Bigfoot. While I read the book, I have to say the audiobook cast looks like it’s more than worth a listen. The cast includes Max Brooks himself, Judy Greer, Jeff Daniels, Nathan Fillion, Mira Furlan, Kimberly Guerrero, Kate Mulgrew, Kai Ryssdal, and the always incredible Steven Weber.

Legendary Entertainment optioned the book for an film just prior to the novel’s release by DelRay on 6/16/20. I’m looking forward to who they tap to write the script, and seeing how they translate the DEVOLUTION’s journal entry sections to on screen action. Fingers crossed it’s not a “film adaption in title only” situation, because certain events in the finale were edge of your seat intense. Plus, like with my beloved Werewolves, we don’t get nearly enough good Sasquatch horror movies and I believe a more faithful adaption of this source material could be one of the good ones.

Friday Night at the Video Store: Killer Party

by Jenny


If you grew up in the VHS era, you likely have fond memories of hitting the video store on a Friday night, a world of cinematic possibilities awaiting you. If you are not “of a certain age”, then welcome to this nostalgia-soaked, slasher-filled trip to the wonder of the video store experience. Don’t worry-we won’t charge late fees!

For this first installment of the series, we are going to visit the world of the 1986 classic, Killer Party. And by “classic”, I mean wonderfully absurd and soooooo very 80s.

Directed by William Fruet (Friday the 13th: the Series), with a screenplay written by Barry Cohen (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), this is one of those movies that I chose basically solely on the cover art, which was a common tactic of movie selection back in the day.  This movie was shot in October of 1984, and released in 5 theaters, making an unconfirmed total of $900.


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The movie starts with not one but two false starts. In the first fake-out, we are at a funeral, mourning the death of Annabel Pitswolly Couslove. There are tears, except from daughter-in-law Stephanie, who is giving some classic soap opera side-eye. She stays behind when the service is over, and tells the deceased that she hopes she burns in hell. In response, Annabel drags Stephanie into the coffin, which is brought to the crematorium by a headphone-wearing mortuary worker who can’t hear the screams coming from the casket, or notice the tremendous shaking of said casket. As Stephanie begins to go up in flames, we realize that this scene is actually playing at a drive-in where we meet April and her boyfriend, Stosh. April’s magnificent crimped blonde and pink hair isn’t even the most 80s thing about this movie, believe it or not. She runs into the concession area to get popcorn, and is surprised to see that there is no attendant, and steals a giant tub of popcorn. When she goes out to the car, Stosh is gone, and the movie onscreen has devolved into pure screaming chaos. Soon, April’s life also devolves into chaos, as she’s attacked by zombies. Yes, zombies.

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But, in the second fake-out in the first ten minutes of the movie, it’s not a zombie movie-it’s a music video, for a song called You’re No Fool by the generously-bandanaed band White Sister. As April is dragged away by dancing zombies, we meet the first of our protagonists, Phoebe, played by Elaine Wilkes (Sixteen Candles), who was watching the music video (for you youngins, music videos were a thing once, on that channel with all the skanky reality shows on it.) Between us, Phoebe has always been my favorite character in this movie-as a teenager, I thought her style was so badass, from her curly mop to her red shoe/white shoe/white sock/red sock footwear. From there we meet the other two heroines-Jennifer played by Joanna Johnson, (The Bold and the Beautiful), and Vivia, played by Sherry Wilkes-Burch (Final Exam). The girls are pledging Sigma Alpha Pi, but Jennifer, who quickly reveals herself to be the doomsayer of this flick, is having doubts.

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She is, of course, completely right to have her doubts. They have the snotty sorority sisters to deal with, led by Veronica (Alicia Fleer), and the absolutely un-PC frat brothers from Beta Tau, who lead to the T&A scene that was required for an 80s slasher. The sexual harassment throughout this movie has not aged very well, and the majority of the male characters are pretty gross, but this ends up being the least of the girls’ problems.

After the boys attack the girls with bees in a successful effort to see their bits (not even joking), the house mother goes to a gravestone and tells “Allan” that the girls are going to be using the house, and that it was time for to let go. Then she goes to the house in question to hammer nails into the railings, you know, for safety. And here’s when shit gets real, as we see the first of many murders.

I won’t give the play-by-play on the rest of the story, because you really need to watch it, but let me just give the disclaimer that this movie suffers from a cornucopia of ideas, and a full-on assault by the MPAA, which resulted in a shortage of murder and gore onscreen. There are so many different tells of the murderer, from an apparently severe case of athlete’s foot, to an old school scuba suit/trident ensemble. Honestly, I’m still not 100% who the prolific murderer is, or why he doesn’t wash his feet, but let’s just say he’s prolific, knocking out the coeds quicker than mono.

This movie has everything-slashers, every 80s college trope, light nudity, possession, goat eyeballs, and even a handful of murderous pranks. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be confused, which was not atypical of the Friday night video store adventure. Definitely worth a watch, preferably with Jiffy Pop.

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Episode 178 – Streaming Screams: Spring 2019

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In this installment of our quarterly Streaming Screams series, we bring you over 60 recommendations of movies and TV series currently available on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Click the link in the show notes for the Letterboxd companion list for this episode.

Episode 178 – Streaming Screams: Spring 2019

Letterboxd Companion List

[Film Review] THE MEG

by Joe Meyers


Release Date: August 10, 2018 * Rated PG-13 * Run time: 1 hour 53 minutes

Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Screenplay by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, and Erich Hoeber
Based on the book, “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror”, by Steve Alten

Jason Statham as Jonas Taylor
Bingbing Li as Suyin
Rainn Wilson as Morris
Cliff Curtis as Mac
Winston Chao as Zhang
Shuya Sophia Cai as Meiying
Ruby Rose as Jaxx
Page Kennedy as DJ
Robert Taylor as Heller
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as The Wall
Jessica McNamee as Lori
Masi Oka as Toshi

The Meg Pic 2

I could go into detail with a traditional film critique of THE MEG, but why? I’m sure there’s at least a dozen of posts out there with some variation of  the “Meg is Meh” hacky review shredding the films for its flaws. This won’t be one of those, I assure you. Instead I’ll simply ask some questions to start.

Did the trailer for THE MEG make you go “Hell yeah!!!” when you saw you were getting a Jason Statham verses Megalodon film? If so, go see the movie. Did the trailer make you think it looked stupid, and ridiculous, and you’ve got five other films currently in the cinema that’s on your watch list? Then, skip THE MEG and go see one of them instead. Do you fall anywhere in between those two examples? I’d advise you just wait for streaming, VOD, DVD, or Blu-ray.

For me, THE MEG was just as dumb, nonsensical, crazy, cheesy, and fun as I thought it would be…and I enjoyed it from start to finish. I do wish we would be able to see the original film they wanted to bring us, in all its bloody R rated glory. The cast did feel a bit wasted in what morphed into an action-horror-comedy, but as both director Jon Turteltaub and star Jason Statham have said in recent interviews “it is what it is.” I’m paraphrasing, of course.

At the end of the day this falls in line with ALLIGATOR, LAKE PLACID, DEEP BLUE SEA, and the like. Nobody will argue they’re near JAWS in quality. However, THE MEG will fit nicely into a human versus beast movie marathon alongside them all. So, whether you catch it (no pun intended, I swear) at the cinema soon or at home with family and friends, surrounded by pizza and tasty beverages, in a few months, just know that you’re getting exactly as they advertised…Jason Statham fighting a big, damn prehistoric shark for nearly two hours.

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[Film Review] Hereditary

by Joe Meyers

Written and Directed by Ari Aster


Toni Collette as Annie
Gabriel Byrne as Steve
Alex Wolff as Peter
Milly Shapiro as Charlie

Release date: June 8, 2018
Run time: 2h 7min
Rated: R


Have you ever been in your bed at night, and were suddenly convinced someone, or something!, was lurking in the darkness just waiting for the perfect moment to get you? Those moments where you hear noises behind you and your imagination runs wild with what it could be. Those goose-bump causing, adrenaline pumping seconds between thinking you see something in the corner of your room and realizing it’s the pile of laundry you put in your chair. Those terrifying occasions where your fear causes your heart to beat so loudly you think it can be heard from the other side of the house, and your mouth goes dry just as that bone-chilling tingle radiates throughout your entire body…that’s what HEREDITARY was for me.

In his first feature film, writer-director Ari Aster has crafted a horror movie that stands shoulder to shoulder with recent genre entries like THE BABADOOK, THE WITCH, and IT COMES AT NIGHT. The movie tells the story of the Graham family hurtling into a downward spiral after the death of their matriarch. That is all of the plot I’ll mention in this review, as this is a film best seen with as little information as you possibly can. I’d managed to avoid the majority of the hype surrounding its festival screenings, and all reviews prior to seeing it last Thursday night. I’m thrilled I went in without any real knowledge, or expectations, about the movie.

Aster is masterful as a writer-director here, and anything he does going forward will be on my radar. HEREDITARY is a slow burn family drama built on bleak tension, creepy moments, and oppressive dread. It won’t be for everyone, but people who love that type of horror should be thrilled. The movie doesn’t rely on jump scares, instead giving the viewer a plethora of creepy scenes that the camera lingers on. You don’t get quick edits where you’re on to the next thing here. No, Aster makes you wallow in the moment, he draws you into the film, and you experience the events along with the characters. It’s been a while since a movie has gotten under my skin, and into my brain, like this one has.

Speaking of the look of the film, Cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski has put together a beautiful movie. Much of it takes place at night, and there’s many moments of something just being on the cusp of coming out of the darkness that’s done amazingly. The way the shots are framed just draws you in, and you can’t help but feel terror for the characters involved. The production design by Grace Yun, art direction by Richard T. Olson and the work of art department, and set decoration by Brian Lives are all glorious as well. They had to build the house that’s in the film from scratch, and the fantastic job they did shines through in every frame.

Colin Stetson’s score was nearly a character all on its own. It’s stunning, haunting, and used perfectly throughout the movie. The score combined with the sound design helps push you into that dreadful, creepy feeling for nearly the entirety of the film’s run time. I know A QUIET PLACE, deservedly, gets praise for its sound design, but I think HEREDITRY is neck and neck with that movie. If you see it at the cinema, grab a seat in the middle-middle of the auditorium and let the sounds envelope you as the horror unfolds before you.

Finally, I have to talk about the cast led by the brilliant Toni Collette, as Annie. There’s been chatter about her getting an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her work here. I’m hopeful what GET OUT did at the Oscars last year will leave that door open for her this year. She’s utterly impressive and amazing in this role. Right there with her for me was Alex Wolff, playing her son Peter. I wasn’t familiar with him before seeing HEREDITARY but he does incredible work here. He does some seriously emotional heavy lifting in the role. Rounding out the family is Milly Shapiro, as the quirky and creepy daughter, Charlie, and Gabriel Byrne as the husband and father, Steve. Shaprio immediately enters the list of all-time creep kids in horror movies for me. What she can do with just a sound, a facial expression, or a body movement is impressive in building her character. While Byrne doesn’t get some of the meaty moments, he deftly handles the role of the family member trying to hold everything together as he watches it slip through his fingers.

As with all horror, this is super subjective. What I find terrifying, creepy, and nightmare inducing you may fund dull and boring. Earlier in this review I mentioned THE BABADOOK, THE WITCH, and IT COMES AT NIGHT. If you were a fan of any of those movies I think HEREDITARY might be your bag too. For me, this has become my favorite film at the near halfway point of 2018 and I can’t wait to see it again.