Do you happen to be on the hunt for a good horror movie but just don’t have the time for it? Lucky for you, there are a ton of scares that are delivered in short formats. In this article, ExploreTalent has scoured the Web in pursuit of the best horror short films ever released. Horror shorts are best for people who can’t stand a full hour of pure terror or for those who are simply looking for a quick scare. Another great thing about them is that a lot of these shorts are available for free streaming.
Note that the films listed here do not have a full length feature as of this writing, so do not expect movies like Lights Out or Evil Dead to be included. With that said, here are the most spine-tingling horror shorts that will probably keep you up at night.
1. Alma (2009)
If one were to hear the word Pixar, the first thing that comes to mind is the production company’s signature family friendly films. But 2009’s Alma was simply terrifying, and it was enough to make one wonder if it is safe to show to kids. But if you could look past the dark theme of the movie, then you’d realize that this one of the best short horror films ever made, mainly because of its concept that rivals that of Stephen King. The plot is pretty simple actually, it starts with an innocent child who walks into a doll store and things quickly turn sinister from there. Do not expect any jump-scares in this film, though, as it delivers nothing but pure horror.
Alma is said to be currently produced to be a full length feature, and the maestro of dark fantasy films Guillermo del Toro is attached to the project.
2. Bedtime Is at 10 (2016)
This short horror film is great for anyone who enjoys slow burning suspense, and it will most likely leave you looking behind your shoulder in the end. Like many horror shorts, it has a simple premise: a little girl is seen watching cartoons before bed. But little does this gutsy child know, somebody else is watching with her. The biggest strengths of Bedtime Is at 10 is its musical score at the end and great acting performance delivered by the young girl. So sit back, relax, and try not to sleep with the lights on tonight.
3. The Whistler (2013)
The Whistler is definitely one short horror film that deserves to be transformed into a full-length feature. There are a lot of unanswered plot holes that weren’t addressed throughout its entire duration. One good question here was, what was the whole motive of the monster? And why did it choose to do what it did in the end? But then again, that is horror short’s only drawback, which is pretty understandable considering six minutes is not enough to explain everything to audiences.
Without spoiling anything, it is safe to say that the scariest part of this short horror film does not immediately dawn to you while you’re watching it. Instead, it happens at night when you’re wondering who or what could be staring at you right at that very moment.
4. Welcome to the Circus (2016)
The Web anthology series Scary Endings truly lived up to its name with the release of Welcome to the Circus.Audiences will immediately appreciate its brilliant concept, which centers around a distressed aunt haunted by a clown straight out of her nephew’s Jack in the Box. The minute the poor woman notices that the toy is not what it seems, all hell breaks loose.
Fans of the movie It will feel nostalgic over the sinister clown as it does bear a close resemblance to Tim Curry‘s Pennywise. Between the fast-paced horror sequence and the desperate attempt of the main characters to survive is a climax that will make you crave for even more Scary Endings episodes.
5. Pictured (2014)
If you thought David Sandberg‘s Lights Out was terrifying enough, wait until you see his follow-up horror short Pictured. The film’s plot pretty much follows its predecessor. In fact, it stars the same woman investigating an eerie hallway. But this time, the scares are courtesy of a terrifying photograph with a story to tell.
Pictured does not focus on cheap jump-scares, instead you can rely on a great story that will probably leave you aching for a full length feature.