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Joseph’s Reviews: Twisted Dreams Film Festival Online 2021 Horror Shorts: Possessions; Goodbye; and Sundown Trail


Fangoria! Woo!

Along with the terrific feature-film lineup from Twisted Dreams Film Festival’s 2021 virtual version, the festival serves up plenty of short-form fright fare, too. Here is a second set of capsule reviews of just a few of the short films on offer. The first installment is here.

Possessions

Directed by Zeke Farrow

★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★

Starting out as a humorous documentary of an art project before delivering a swift kick of horror straight to viewers’ rear ends, writer/director Zeke Farrow’s Possessions features Farrow as an artist who seeks to take himself out of a depressive phase by selling whatever he doesn’t need for $1 per item. One of his friends, Christine (Christine Woods) purchases a seemingly innocuous object from him that starts an increasingly disturbing series of events. Well paced and constructed, and highlighted by a chilling turn from Woods, Possessions delivers surprises and sequences certain to stay with viewers long after the ending credits roll.

Goodbye

Directed by Brittany Snyman

★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★

Things go from lighthearted to diabolically dark in Goodbye as Mary (Shelby Hightower) pauses her spirit board attempt to contact whatever has been bothering her house to go to a Halloween party with her significant other Chuck (Andrew Glessner). She shouldn’t have been in such a hurry because when they return home, what was supposed to be a romantic evening goes in a decidedly different direction. Wonderfully directed by Brittany Snyman, the short boasts fine performances, crisp cinematography, and solid pacing. 

Sundown Trail

Directed by Luke Guidici 

★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★

Set six years into the future in a postapocalyptic former Washington state, Sundown Trail is a science fiction short with classic Western movie elements. While searching for “sundowners” — a type of toxic mushroom that has made the air unbreathable —  father Ethan (Joshua Loren) and his young son Thomas (Mason McNulty) are accosted by three “marauders” (Phillip Wheeler, Jason Lee Daniel, and Giovanny Vasquez) — bandits who steal their breathing apparatus and antidotes to the sundowners’ effects at gunpoint. With Ethan exposed to the air without any antidote, it is up to Thomas to go home and bring back antidote — but the marauders stand in the way. Writer/director Luke Guidici’s fine short film is packed with emotion and heart, with the forested surroundings serving as a fine background for the sharp cinematography and the ensemble cast turning in impressive performances. This is the type of science fiction cinema that shows how imagination, spirit, and a good story can deliver the goods without the need for grand special effects.

Possessions, Goodbye, and Sundown Trail screen as part of Twisted Dreams Film Festival, which runs online as a virtual event from June 4–13, 2021. For more information, visit http://www.twisteddreamsff.com/.

Reviews by Joseph Perry

Categories: Festivals, ReviewsTags: , , , ,

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