Looking for a case of the chills with just a few minutes to spare? These creepy shorts from horror’s darkest minds are sure to send shivers down your spine in no time flat. From sinister shadows to demonic toys that would give Freddy Krueger nightmares, these eight scary short films you can watch right now will leave you utterly terrified.
Anytime we see Denis Villeneuve’s name attached to something, we get very excited. When it comes to the brilliant French-Canadian director, you can expect some truly mind-blowing twists. And that’s exactly what we get here: Eleven diners dig into a grisly spread fit for Hannibal Lecter, and its abundance of carnage may just send you into vegetarianism.
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We’re used to getting firsthand accounts of what it’s like to be hunted, but what about what it’s like to do the hunting? Director Ti West, the force behind slow-burners like The Inkeepers and The House of the Devil, offers the beast’s-eye view in this short about a couple of guys running through the snow with a sharp-toothed creature right on their tails.
The 3:07 AM Project
Back when The Conjuring was released, Vice collaborated with four horror movie maestros to create The 3:07 Project, a collection of spooky vignettes that explore each director’s take on what happens during the devil’s hour. Pay close attention to the second half: Ti West’s “The Box” and Jason Eisener’s “One Last Drive” are pretty magical.
Related: A Real-Life Conjuring: How the Perron Family Survived Their House of Darkness
This hugely creepy little gem scored its director, David F. Sandberg, numerous wins in the horror movie world, including a full-length adaptation of the short. It’s easy to see why: Sandburg only needs one woman, three minutes, and a sinister shadow to thoroughly terrify any viewer.
Hopefully, you’ve seen the Guillermo del Toro-produced supernatural feature film that explores just how deep–and dark–a mother’s love runs. Well, this is the Spanish short film that inspired del Toro to get out his wallet. It stars two little girls and the scariest ghost critter we’ve ever seen.
Related: The 9 Best Ghost Movies That Will Chill You to the Bone
We can’t help but be reminded of Darren Aronofsky’s Pi or Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis when we watch Christopher Nolan’s short project, Doodlebug. It’s the kind of unsettling psychological imprint that burrows into your brain and stays there until you take a power drill to it. That said, we hope you enjoy this early example of the meta that has served Nolan so well of late.
The late Wes Craven partnered with Studio 360 to judge a short film contest in 2014. The goal: Make a 30-second short film that would make the creator of Freddy Krueger wanna sleep with a teddy bear. The theme: “young genius.” Jack, created by Jake Jarvi, won. And it just proves that a classic children’s toy, the jack-in-the-box, doubles as a psychological torture device.
Today’s mumblegore looks a lot different from yesterday’s horror. That’s thanks in part to contemporary storytellers like Adam Wingard. The director of The Guest and You’re Next shows off his ultra-modern skills (read: No budget? No problem!) in a series of short films that feature good girls doing very bad things. Laura Panic, the first in the trilogy that also includes Cerebella and Her Name Is Laura Panic, remains our favorite.
Related: 7 Horror Shorts to Watch Right Now
Featured still from "Jack" via Studion 360