For years, Hulu has quietly provided horror fans fed up with what’s available to stream, a handful of fantastic, frightening features that can’t be seen anywhere else. This year they’re outdone themselves! Hulu is currently hosting their first ever film fest competition, selecting eight up-and-coming filmmakers, giving them the platform to terrify! The short with the most views as well as a vote from a surprise celebrity judge will win 10k and will be featured on all Hulu social media on this Halloween.
Having taken in all eight, below is my ranking, from not best, to best.
We all grieve in different ways. Some more intensely Sometimes for good reason. Location, location, location! Such a solid atmosphere, with a very visceral jump in. But once we leave the dock, it’s a bit meandering. A two note song. Great bones, but without all the other stuff, this skeleton fell apart.
7. The Box
A young boy with a wizard fascination breaks a salt circle in the woods, leaving with more than he came with. Picking the lock of a menacing box in his bedroom, he finds only a piece of paper inside… The Box is a tight little story that feels a bit too safe.
This family could have learned a thing of two from the tragic loss of Veruca Salt. Opening on some beautiful shots of an ugly man harvesting pumpkins in preparation for jack-o-lantern selection, this short has the spirit. A young boy compelled, picks the most sinister one in the bunch. Once home, the cutting begins…. Carved is Cinematically very pleasing until things get a bit too computer-y for my taste.
Just to be safe, don’t overreach when it comes to CG, and never give your children anything they want.
5. The Gillymuck
Bad scouts get a little more than they deserve following the bullying a loner who bought in a bit too much to a campfire story of a mysterious creature living in the woods. Later that night, she just might find a friend in the thing that scared her. And that thing might not take kindly to bullying. The Gillymuck itself has rather adorable creature design…and that’s saying a lot from a guy who is pretty much terrified of all puppetry…
4. Haunted, Horrifying Sounds from Beyond the Grave
A struggling experimental musician gives in to a novelty, and takes the task a bit too seriously. With the focus of the film on audio recording in a specific era, we’re given some excellent sound design, period costuming, and a throwback approach to framing. This descent into madness is a fun ride, that efficiently ties itself up. And let’s be frank…I’m a sound freak. This worked for me.
3. The Rizzle
A late night, deep-dive into online dance tutorial videos turns terrifying when one strange subject urges our protagonist to try The Rizzle (if she dares). Safe to say, a dare should should have passed on. Creepy, tense, and an interesting contract between the now & then. A small, simple, well executed short that preys on my fear of black & white weirdness, dark hallways, and…dancing.
2. The Hug
His pan pizza might be #1, but at what cost? After a birthday boy is told (by a rather apathetic employee) the animatronic mascot of a pizza arcade is “at lunch”, he sneaks past, and plugs him in. A hug request by a bear that is as cute as he is horrific, turns to something else. Something spectacular. Slightly surreal, this is the kind of midnighter short that would keep my fading energy up at a physical festival. Still humming the Pandory’s Pan Pizza Palace theme song. Fun, period.
Keep things that aren’t yours away from your pockets! Once apprehended by a peculiar security guard for stealing makeup, two girls find themselves in a “Saw: Lite” situation. Things get out of hand. Lippy is boldly colored, tightly written, with an exceptionally unsettling performance by our authority. A perfect storm of disturbing and bizarre, this is an absolute standout. This would be an excellent alternative to a stern warning for shoplifters.
Comment below with your favorite short!