[CFF 2022] DANGEROUS VISIONS VOLUME ONE Review - A Horror and Genre Shorts Showcase

Sammy Mannion says the Dangerous Visions Volume One showcase of horror and genre shorts at Chattanooga Film Festival is deeply moving, frightening, brilliant and gruesome.


7 MINUTES IN HELL horror short written and directed by Shane Spiegel and Justin Reager at the 2022 Chattanooga Film Festival.

Chattanooga Film Festival highlighted horror and genre films with two showcases of short films entitled Dangerous Visions. These highlighted up-and-coming filmmakers and performers both behind the camera and in front of it. The program was a strong collection of thought-provoking films. Volume One of the showcase also included Livin’ After Midnight. Read Jaclyn Bartlett’s review of the Queer horror short here.


 


SWOLE GHOST

Swole Ghost, a campy horror-comedy, is directed and written by Tim Troemner. As Vicky (Carolyn Fields) is doing housework, she notices something strange and is from then on convinced there is a ghost in the house. After performing a seance, she and Jake (Mike Paulin) realize the ghost is weak, so they begin to train him to grow stronger and finally break his bond with the living. The narrative is a little tongue in cheek for my taste, but still very entertaining.

Bloody Knife Rating: 3


COMMUNITY SERVICE

A young man named Dan (Dan O’Brien) is arrested after becoming publically intoxicated. He is sentenced to three weeks of community service delivering food to a woman named Shecky (Angela Muto). Written and directed by Grayson Tyler Johnson, the story is a delightful slow burn, with tensions rising as Dan returns each week. It will fill you with a sense of absolute dread. It’s hard to miss Shecky growing progressively stranger. This short manages to give you an ominous feeling from the beginning.

Bloody Knife Rating: 4


THE SWEET SPOT

The Sweet Spot follows Elizabeth (Miriam Krein) whose mother Carla (Beth Hoyt) drops her off at an overnight daycare with a caregiver, Miss Linda (Merideth Holzman). Elizabeth discovers there is another guest, a baby she is told is “sick.” The short is written and directed by Evan Enderle. The story follows the familiar trope of a curious child terrorizing an adult for the sake of adventure and puts a fascinating spin on it. However, I was left feeling I’d missed something in the end and slightly confused as I tried to put the pieces together.

Bloody Knife Rating: 2


TRASH LIFE

Trash Life was written and directed by Jeffrey Owens, with co-direction by Dillon Vaughn. It stars Sonny DeCarlo as the Trashman and Owens as his client. The camera follows a Trashman on his route. DeCarlo delivers a great performance despite minimal dialogue here as the audience hears a phone ringing. The phone is heard from inside a bag and then again on the beach. We then discover that a man is having nightmares caused by what he is doing in his waking life. The sheer terror represented on his face sells his character effortlessly, he also manages to evoke a manic aura that works perfectly in the film.

Bloody Knife Rating: 3



7 MINUTES IN HELL horror short written and directed by Shane Spiegel and Justin Reager at the 2022 Chattanooga Film Festival.

7 MINUTES IN HELL

Written and directed by Shane Spiegel and Justin Reager, 7 Minutes in Hell follows Olivia (Samantha Cormier) and her friends as they sneak into an abandoned house. Olivia wants to play with her ouija board to channel the spirits in the home, but the other kids want to play 7 Minutes in Heaven. They put a bottle right over the board, which angers the spirits who then ruin their game by attacking them in the closet. The spirits do this by transforming into a shape-shifting monsters. The concept of shapeshifting is used brilliantly to keep the audience guessing. We never know who to trust, as anyone could be the monster in disguise. It also stars Christian Weissmann, Luke Georgecink, Paige Searcy, Jalen Thomas Brooks, Madison Shamoun, and Lize Johnston as The Woman.

Bloody Knife Rating: 4


SUCKER

From writer and director, Alix Austin comes the wonderfully disgusting Sucker. The film follows Sam (Sophia Capasso) and her sister Caitlin (Annie Knox). When Sam comes home to find her sister with a giant leech wrapped around her neck, she desperately attempts every solution she can think of to save her sister. Once the monstrous leech is satisfied with her sister it goes after Sam, too. The leech in this film is so grotesque it will send a shiver down your spine. The special and visual effects team led by Sammm Agnew and James Stuart respectively did a spectacular job creating something truly terrifying. The film is a total gross-out in the best way possible.

Bloody Knife Rating: 4


OFF LIMITS

Off Limits is directed and produced by Megan Gorman and written by Mallory Rose Diekmann. It stars Diekmann as Charlotte aka Charlie who is facing the all-to-familiar danger of ride-sharing apps for women. A string of murders has been committed by a driver of Rydez, a fictional ride-share app. Charlie is terrified of becoming a victim herself and is reluctant to use the apps. Her male friends do not understand her fear, dismissing her as paranoid. The short effectively mirrors reality and how simple everyday things can become dangerous. Gorman and Diekmann tell the story with the care it deserves.

Bloody Knife Rating: 5


SMILE

Smile, written and directed by Joanna Tsanis, follows Anna (Konstantina Mantelos), a young woman experiencing depression. She has been unable to bring herself to leave her home for a long time and is suffering for it. Her mother calls her and tells her that she wants to see her smile again. Anna forces herself to smile by putting her fingers on her cheeks to mimic the expression. Her depression physically manifests itself as a terrible monster, forcing her to do what the creature wants. The monster is a great use of metaphor and Mantelos delivers a beautiful performance.

Bloody Knife Rating: 4



STREAMER STALKER horror short written and directed by Gaelan Draper and Connor Del Rio at the 2022 Chattanooga Film Festival.

STREAMER STALKER

Co-written and directed by Gaelan Draper with Connor Del Rio, the Thriller short film, Streamer Stalker follows professional gamer TOUCHMYTOASTER (Del Rio) as he live-streams gameplay to his many followers online. His followers become increasingly creepy and have invasive requests going so far as to show up at his house. One in particular Shady1989 (Gaelan Connell) troubles him the most. This film is a great commentary on boundaries with content creators and the need for privacy, especially when some aspects of a person's life are available for public consumption as entertainment. The film also stars Allison Landi and Charlie Saxton.

Bloody Knife Rating: 4


BOX

Co-written and Directed by Jonathan Shander with Joe Wolff, Box centers on a doomsday prepper played by Max Rubin who finds a box in his home that has mysteriously appeared. He becomes paranoid and believes there is an intruder inside his home. Grabbing his gun, he begins frantically running around and investigating his property, looking for the intruder. Eventually, his curiosity is consumed by the mysterious box. Rubin delivers a brilliant and engrossing performance as the erratic pepper. Though the character has no dialogue, he conveys exactly how he is feeling through his physicality which speaks volumes to the audience.

Bloody Knife Rating: 4


SLEEP

Sleep is a hair-raising thriller written and directed by Amanda Pechman and starring Kate Adams. As a child, a woman suffers a traumatic home invasion that has haunted her into adulthood. At night, she often hears frightening sounds and wakes her partner for comfort. Assuming she is just paranoid, he convinces her to go back to sleep. On this particular night, that decision is met with an unfortunate fate. The cinematography features prominently on the woman’s eyes, propelling this unnerving story in a single shot. Sleep is compelling and very frightening.

Bloody Knife Rating: 4



THE WOODSMAN horror short written and directed by Kyle Kuchta at the 2022 Chattanooga Film Festival.

THE WOODSMAN

The Woodsman is a horror-comedy written and directed by Kyle Kuchta. On Christmas eve, a Christmas tree salesman, Bernie Davis (John R. Smith Jr) only has three trees left in his lot to sell. Selling those final trees would result in meeting the family tradition for 93 years in a row. The first two sell by the end of the night but the last one, who he calls Geraldine, is tougher to sell. As the night progresses, his anxiety heightens and he becomes increasingly intoxicated. This leads Davis to partake in unconventional sales practices. Smith’s performance is noteworthy and left me beaming with joy.

Bloody Knife Rating: 5


WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHERS?

Written and directed by Douglas Wicker and starring Lucas and Joshua Bradbook, Adam Qualls, and Frank Milleras three generations of a family, What Happened to the Others? is a deeply moving story. As a child, Miller's character witnesses mysterious creatures brutally murdering young boys, a sight that haunts him for life. Decades later, he is now a proud grandfather. The family stumbles upon those same horrific monsters, leaving them in a fight for their lives with Miller desperately trying to protect his young grandchildren.

Bloody Knife Rating: 4


MUNKIE

Written, directed, and edited by Steven Chow and starring Xana Tang as Rose, Munkie tells the story of Rose (Tang) a young Asian woman who is sick of her overbearing parents. When their tough love becomes too much for her to handle, with the help of her boyfriend Vincent (Daniel Lee), she hatches a scheme to terrify them. The couple stages a break-in at her childhood home to scare her parents, but they end up suffering a terrible fate. This short elicits extreme fear, and the final frame will haunt me for quite some time.

Bloody Knife Rating: 5


The Dangerous Visions Vol 1 - Horror and Genre Shorts Showcase collection of short films screened at the Chattanooga Film Festival on June 23-28, 2022.


 



69 views