You may think that Halloween movie nights are all about scouring Netflix or raiding the DVD cupboard – but there are a whole load of great short horror flicks that you can watch on YouTube right now.
For a quick pre-party scare or late night marathon, these chillers will have you hiding behind your laptop. Mark Butler picks out eight of the very finest.
(Warning: Disturbing scenes below!)
The whole ‘cowering under the covers’ shtick may seem like old news. But David Sandberg and Lotta Losten breathe fresh life into the concept with their devilish spin on the classic set-up.
An early scare is skin-jumpingly effective, sending a grown woman scrambling to her bed in fear. Following this the build-up of tension is excellently done – and this is one of those rare examples of the pay-off being just as good.
Ranging from the funny to the twisted to the genuinely disturbing, Bloody Cuts Films have amassed a formidably strong library of short flicks thus far, and Don’t Move is the award-winning pick of the punch.
Boasting incredible creature effects from Hollywood ace Cliff Wallace (Hellraiser, Hellboy 2), the Del Toro-esque monster forms a deeply unnerving centrepiece in a cracking demonic game of musical statues, overflowing with suspense, shocks and gore.
A two-minute movie so good it spawned a major feature film, this nightmarish calling card from Andy and Barbara Muschietti remains chilling even on repeat viewings.
Two young girls move tentatively through their house while the camera hovers ominously above, apparently in terror of their ‘Mama’. When the object of their trepidation is finally revealed, expect to be afraid. Very afraid.
Fewdio have dozens of creepy, spine-tingling and darkly funny videos dating back six years – but this is probably their most iconic.
A short, sharp shocker of a treat, it uses an ingenious idea to tremendous effect.
A Twilight Zone style descent into madness that’s weird, wacky and disturbing in equal measure, director Jon Knautz’s offbeat creation sees a confused traveller confronted by a town full of eerie mannequins.
What starts off as strangely amusing ultimately takes a more sinister turn. Very clever execution of a very cool concept.
Beautifully shot, paced and structured, Antonio Perez’s highly cinematic slice of suspense won several prestigious festival prizes last year.
Offering a neat, distinctive spin on the ‘girl hiding from psycho killer’ setup, it utilizes both a brooding basement hideaway and dusty desert setting to intelligent effect: dropping a few fun hints to the big reveal along the way.
The Smiling Man
Based on a spooky online anecdote which has since become something of an urban legend, Michael Evans’ highly effective take on a surreal late-night encounter is surprisingly haunting stuff.
It perfectly captures the slow-burning dread of being confronted by a bona fide creep or weirdo while walking home in the dark. This is one grinning stranger you won’t want to bump into.
The French Doors
Wonderfully eerie and unsettling, this fascinating piece of filmmaking from New Zealand manages to make a pair of second-hand sliding doors seem like the scariest thing in the world.
Placing the outlandish and terrifying into a familiar household setting is always a smart move in horror, and this manages it with style. Once the otherworldly atmosphere kicks in, you’ll be gripped.