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[Short Film Round-Up] ‘Prank’, ‘The Sleepover’ and ‘Devilution’

The Halloween season brings about many horror film festivals all with their various categories. Short films have always been a favorite of mine as the feat to effectively pack in scares with a plot in that brief amount of time is challenging. BD received a few of these time compacted features recently and I had the pleasure of checking them out.

Prank, written and directed by Robert Mearns, was nominated for the Best Short Film Under 10 minutes at the 2012 Shriekfest Film Festival. The short shows the aftermath of a harmless prank as some friends bury a friend on the beach one night. I’ve always been one to have issues with water and drowning scenes, so the panic Prank instills is pretty fierce. The production is very upscale for a short and ended up leaving me wanting to know what was going on exactly and how it would end.


The Sleepover is a refreshingly brilliant little diddy directed by Chris Cullari. The short had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest this year and truly blew me away. Packing a lot of punch in 5 short minutes, The Sleepover takes the slasher genre and turns in on its head.

The concept? What if the boogeyman was real in all of his forms? And what if your town was infested with him? People would have to be trained to deal with the situation and new neighbors could be a problem. It’s no wonder this short won a best runner up for Best Horror Short recently at the Alamo Drafthouse, but it’s more perplexing that it didn’t win first place. If you get the chance to see it at a fest in your city, check it out!


Devilution, made by Silver Springs Films founders Zane Hershberger and Erik Daniele, is an official selection for Philadelphia’s Terror Film Festival. The short encompasses 80’s B movie flicks, revolving around some teenage girls stuck at home on Halloween night. Boredom leads to a séance that turns up nothing more than a laughing toy witch. Eventually the group decides to try a past life regression type of game that leads to horrible consequences.

For a small budget short, Devilution is well done. Though predictable in the storyline, if you’re a fan of those scream queen era B movies where someone gets possessed or someone opens a can of worms with a Quija board, then you’ll enjoy this tribute. The acting and editing is on par with those films of the past, and the ride, though a bit long even for a short, is a fun one.




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