Joseph’s Reviews: Lund International Fantastic Film Festival Horror Shorts

Along with Sweden’s Lund International Fantastic Film Festival’s fine selection of genre feature films, the fest boasts a fine selection of fright fare in short form. Here are capsule reviews of some of these short-length shudder inducers.

Sleep Talker
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
Directed by Carl Firth
ATMOSfx! Woo!

Australian short Sleep Talker finds a young woman (Jessica Saras) fixing herself something to eat at nighttime, when she hears strange noises from the bedroom. Her partner (John van Putten) seems to be talking in his sleep but giving odd answers to her questions. She notices something highly unusual on him, and then makes a truly frightening discovery.  The atmosphere in director Carl Firth’s highly effective chiller is sheer edge-of-the-seat eeriness, with a presence that defines the word “creepy.”

The Light (La Luz)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
Directed by Iago De Soto

Once every 25 years, there is a night called “The Truce.” Though young Olalla’s (Paula Gallego) parents prepare for this night when hideous creatures from the bottom of the sea are said to roam the land, the girl places her family at risk by breaking one of the Truce rules to prove that the whole thing is just 19th-century superstition. This Spanish short is filled with dread and tension. Director Iago De Soto uses shadow and light to nerve-jangling effect, with cinematographer Miguel Leal wonderfully capturing the proceedings. Gallego is terrific in her lead role and the supporting players all give fine turns, as well. Creature feature fans need to add this to their must-see lists.

Tea with the Reaper
★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
Directed by Ryan Simons

This U.K. mockumentary finds ghost hunter Don Capp (Jimmy Allen) and his possessed-since-childhood assistant Steven Crick (Jamie Cymbal) having to deal with the fallout of bringing Don’s young daughter back from the dead. Reverend David Harries (Chris Blackwood) does his best to try and drive some of the supernatural entities out of town. The ensemble cast members all give fun performances, and writer/director Simons has crafted a humorous, light-hearted take on a village haunted by spirits because of one man’s wish. Home footage of Crick as a young, possessed boy is just one of the highlights of this quirky short. 

Luna in the Dark
★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
Directed by Lee Hyunju 

A little girl (Poppy Rush) surrounds herself in a fantasy world to escape reality in this U.K. short. Her hand puppet that helps her flee a terrifying situation then offers a dark alternative to her home life. Writer/director Lee Hyunju brings the child’s fantasy world to vivid cinematic life with marionettes and puppets, crafting a disturbing tale of trauma and escapism.

Sleep Talker, The Light, Tea with the Reaper, and Luna in the Dark screen as part of Sweden’s Lund International Fantastic Film Festival, which runs as a hybrid version with both in-theater and virtual versions from October 30–November 5, 2021. For more information, visit https://www.fff.se/

Reviews by Joseph Perry
Categories: Festivals, ReviewsTags: , , , , ,