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An Idea to Celebrate the Spookiness of the Season in "Short" Doses

Posted on Thursday, October 26th, 2017 4:21 PM

Moon in the fog

With an influx of horror/thriller movies like Happy Death Day or Jigsaw, movie theaters are lacking in lower-intensity options. If you’re like me, and can’t quite handle that caliber of horror, there’s still a way to get the chills without enduring two and a half hours of serial killers and creepy clowns in sewers.

Nothing could be creepier than a chorus of children’s voices quietly singing a nursery rhyme with an ominous background harmony. Why not use our childhoods as inspiration for short doses of Halloween creeps? Film shorts before feature films could be just the ticket for those that want that Halloween feeling but don’t want a two hour reign of terror.

Take “Mary Mary Quite Contrary” for example. The song sounds innocent enough, but the origins date back to execution of Protestants during the reign of Bloody Mary. Imagine a woman stalking down her prey, silently prowling after someone who’s wronged her, and it melds into a chase scene, which ends in horror just as the rhyme comes to a close.

Or the old classic, “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” I hate spiders, and anyone that knows me knows that I will leave the room until said spider has been properly disposed. So nothing would be worse than a film short about a swarm of spiders. You can’t see it at first, but you can hear the clicking of the legs as the songs begins. As the song ends, you would see the main character collapse and get swarmed, a la the victims of the flesh-eating scarabs in The Mummy. Think of the possibilities!

My point is, there are ways to give viewers a sense of fright without having them cowering in the corner as a madman hacks apart various characters onscreen (which is what I end up doing sometimes). This could even be a cool way for young filmmakers looking to gain tenure for those “entry-level jobs” that really require 2-5 years of experience. Besides, film shorts would be a better alternative to twenty minutes of ads before a movie.

No matter what, scary film shorts would be an excellent way to get that autumnal, Halloween feel, and the nursery rhymes that echo through our childhoods are the perfect inspiration. Just don’t get too freaked out if you have nightmares about disease and zombies to the tune of "Ring Around the Rosy!"

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