Joseph’s Another Hole in the Head Film Festival Shorts Reviews: 7 MINUTES IN HELL, ANGEL CITY HORROR, and THE WELL

7 Minutes in Hell

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

Directed by Justin Reager and Shane Spiegel

Will those lust-ridden teenagers ever learn that, in horror cinema, it is never good to break into an abandoned house where a murder took place so that they can satisfy their libidinous desires? Hopefully not, if the result is as fun and wild as 7 Minutes in Hell. The  cowriting/codirecting team of Justin Reager and Shane Spiegel have crafted an eerie, suspenseful slice of fright-fare cinema that is both a fine stand-alone work and a  short that deserves to be fleshed out into a full-length feature. The ensemble cast is solid, with Samantha Cormier outstanding in her lead role as Olivia, a young woman who finds herself in a closet with her crush James (Christian Weissmann) after playing Spin the Bottle. They soon find out that they are sharing the closet with something otherworldly and deadly. This is teen horror done right, with a score from Sam Martinez and sound design by Katie Harbin and Carli Plute that compliment the proceedings marvelously.

Scary DVDs! Woo!

Angel City Horror

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

Directed by Matt McWilliams

Angel City Horror writer/director Matt McWilliams is no stranger to fear fare, having previously helmed such works in the genre as the 2016 feature Chupacabra Territory and the 2018 short Bath Bomb. Here he combines horror with film noir for a colorful visual feast of live action, animation, and graphic-novel–style images. The result is a highly entertaining short that blends the two genres together toppingly as detectives Hard (Christopher Matthew Cook) and O’Brian (Patrick Joseph Reiger) investigate a mystery involving hospital patient Wynn (Sadie Katz) — though they’ll have to go through nurse Malinda (Sarah Nicklan in fittingly saucy noir femme fatale mode) first, and this being a horror tale, they may not like the answers they find.

The Well

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

Directed by Peter Stanley-Ward

U.K. horror short The Well finds school outcast Trish (Hanaj Bang Bendz) trying to make friends with three classmates — Ashley (Leila Wetton), H (Taj Matthews), and Josh (James Grogan) — who belittle her and call her Trailer Trish by bringing them to a wishing well deep in the woods. The  skeptical young teens are surprised when the first wish is granted, but naturally, the old adage “Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it” comes into play, and events take a dark turn for all involved. The Well instantly places viewers in an uncanny world with its CG animation style, which uses character movements that feel just slightly off while at other times seeming quite realistic. It’s a weird feeling that wonderfully fits the tale.

Reviews by Joseph Perry

7 Minutes in Hell, Angel City Horror, and The Well screen as part of Another Hole in the Head Film Festival, which takes place in person in San Francisco, California from December 1st–December 18th, 2022 and also On Demand on Eventive and live on Zoom for those who can not attend the live screenings. For more information, visit https://www.ahith.com/.

Categories: Festivals, Reviews, ShortsTags: , , ,

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