Real deep rooted fears saturate the Hide Behind, one of last year’s great short horror films. Sometimes horror in broad (tree dappled) sunlight can be as scary as anything in the dark.
Directed by Parker Finn
I caught this at last year’s Portland Horror Film Festival, and it managed to get into a number of the other big genre festivals as well, and for good reason. It has not just one but TWO great scary moments. Not bad for a nine minute film… films this short usually save it all for the ending. We join actor Robert Collins in media res, with an injured ankle and lost in the woods. We don’t know why, and we can only guess for how long based upon how much water he has left in his bottle.
As he searches for a trail, a sign, or any form of help he stumbles across a strange cloaked figure, who is just… standing there, slouching. The man pleads for assistance, but the cloaked individual just silently stands there. When the lost man approaches the figure, it scurries away, and then pulls a nifty vanishing trick. Realizing that something supernatural is up, the hiker backtracks… but now he is the one being pursued.
The director, Finn, uses to great effect depth of focus and heavy macro zooms to create this wonderful sense of distortion. The silence of the woods, with just enough twig snapping and animal chirping to amp up the atmosphere is hugely effective here. One jump scare comes with a shock sound, but the second big scare doesn’t even need the sound to be really spooky. This is a horror movie in condensed form, and reminds me of the terrific short from a few years ago Lights Out, which eventually became such a hit it was made into a feature. (I still prefer the short better for that one.)
Yet another great selection from Alter, who is creating a library of some of the very best horror shorts to hit the festival circuit. This is one of our nominations for the 2020 Thingy awards. For other nominated shorts you can check out on our site: My First Time, Alien 40th Anniversary: Ore, and Nose Nose Nose Eyes!. One of the tricky things with short films is that they often aren’t available for streaming until a year after they go through the festival circuit, since they want to get into as many festivals as they can. So, our other short film nominees: Five Course Meal, Finley, We Found a Monkey’s Paw, and Vinyl Destination will all get posted once they are available streaming.
The full film is right here: