Engineers (DIR. Tyler Williams)
In a worn-down warehouse, three individuals tempt an experiment on a corpse. The result may be not exactly what they intended.
A clear homage to Frankenstein, but with a post-apocalyptic twist: Engineers is a showing of a world where the only rules are that of science, and even those can be broken. The design of the short is the story: the dilapidated warehouse; the scrap-punk scientific machinery; the nuclear wasteland-chic garb. It’s real classic horror with a post-societal twist. It’s not frightening, creepy, or eerie, but that odd, pre-body horror that was so prevalent in 19th century literature.
With no dialogue, the camera relies on atmosphere to tell the story. The set and sound design along with the costuming are the stars of this short, taking you into the depth of Engineers’ world in a matter of a few minutes.
– Trevor Jeffery
Engineers screens as part of the BITS Short Film Showcase on Saturday, November 26 at 7:00 pm.
No Trespassing (DIR. Charlie Lawton)
Two women disregard a “No Trespassing” sign into a woods. One disappears, while the other is lost, trying to avoid her faceless stalker.
No Trespassing is surprisingly tense for its runtime; the five-minute short builds suspense immediately without forcing it down the audience’s throat. It even manages to take a few left turns, keeping it away from a tropey, “lost in the woods” stagnation. It plays on base fears of darkness, helplessness, and the unknown.
Particularly notable about this already finely-crafted film are the locations. Never has there been such a spooky and perfectly used forest in horror.
Words aren’t necessary in No Trespassing – the scares and thrills are there to be experienced, not explained.
– Trevor Jeffery
No Trespassing screens before Torin Langen’s 3 Dead Trick or Treaters on Saturday, November 26 at 4:30 pm.
A Quiet Moment (DIR. Martin Bruyere, Steve Villeneuve)
A Quiet Moment is really creepy, but parents in the audience may be more freaked out by it.
The scares deal with distorted perceptions and assumptions. An anxious child refuses to sleep in the next room, while the mother overhears the activity through a baby monitor. She’s put at ease when she hears her husband’s soothing comfort. Or, at least, she believes it’s her hubby.
Directors Martin Bruyere and Steve Villeneuve strategically use large stretches of their film to build towards a climax that is purposely abrupt. While the filmmaking duo could’ve afforded to reveal a bit more of screenwriter Tatjana Mahdi’s mystery, the creeping nuances in A Quiet Moment do the trick.
– Addison Wylie
A Quiet Moment screens as part of the BITS Short Film Showcase on Saturday, November 26 at 7:00 pm.
Tik-Tik (DIR. Larica Perera)
In a small village, the people are wary of childbirth. A monster lurks about, waiting for the exact moment to strike or sneak, and take the child for itself.
Tik-Tik, a very “short” short clocking in at two-and-a-half minutes, is an example of great storytelling. The film is simple: in two shots, it depicts fearful villagers gathered around a woman in labour. They eye each other suspiciously, fearing that the Tik-Tik could come from anywhere, or be anyone. With a woman’s sparse narration and combined with the tableau, the audience gets the full idea about this creature, what it does, and how even the fear of its presence has deeply affected the village.
In Tik-Tik, so much is communicated through so little: a girl carries a hammer, and brings it down on a boarded up window; the rooftop creaks to the horror of the townsfolk. The fear is in the unknown, and in what isn’t being told, or shown. Tik-Tik is a work of truly impressive atmosphere and storytelling.
– Trevor Jeffery
Tik-Tik screens before Felipe Rodriguez’s Kidnap Capital on Sunday, November 27 at 2:00 pm.
What Do You See? (DIR. Charlie Hamilton, Zach Ramelan)
Canadian Film Fest award-winning filmmaker Zach Ramelan (along with co-director/screenwriter Charlie Hamilton) takes Dead Rush’s point-of-view style for another spin in What Do You See?.
Where Dead Rush used this first-person experience to navigate through a zombified wasteland, What Do You See? uses similar trickery to sink into the mind of a troubled woman (Raven Cousens) and carry out the scariest haunted house you’ll experience this year. This is the type of horror that makes you afraid to look around corners.
The fact that Hamilton’s story has this hallucinatory trip taking place during a hypnotist’s “second attempt” makes the film’s foreboding more chilly and dangerous.
– Addison Wylie
What Do You See? screens as part of the BITS Short Film Showcase on Saturday, November 26 at 7:00 pm.
For more information on the festival, visit the official BITS webpage here.
Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple: