The Flying Sailor (2022)
Directors (and writers): Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby
Inspired by true events, the highly anticipated new film by Oscar-nominated duo Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis is a meditation on a sailor’s unexpected voyage. – IMDB
The Flying Sailor tells the tale of a sailor that flies out after two ships collide near the harbor and ends up rumbling and tumbling through the sky and into outer space before falling back onto Earth. In the process, he reflects on his life in flashbacks which blend both animation and real life.
There’s a lot to love about The Flying Sailor aside from watching a man fly through the sky completely naked right down to private part flapping around in all directions. Of course, that is besides the point but its a compliment on the attention to detail. In the process of flying through the sky, its flashbacks that bring him back to where he is now. While the process itself feels like it does flash by rather quickly, it still carries a ton of creativity. There’s a wonderful use of colors and the beautifully drawn visuals of the animation element. While its inspired by true events, there has to obviously be an exaggeration of the situation.
Black Forest Sanitorium (2020)
Director (and writer): Diana Thorneycroft
Starving for companionship, Quinn pursues an unorthodox approach to resolving her intense loneliness. – Letterboxd
Black Forest Sanitorium is a stop motion animation which follows a creature that moves around a sanitorium with a cart and stops to explore the patients. Perhaps the plot itself if I hadn’t read it in advance would be rather confusing. The big reveal does piece together what Quinn had planned for this visit. Perhaps its the stop motion animation element but the story never feels very creepy, maybe macabre and bizarre might be more correct to describe it. The different creatures that are in the sanitorium for the nature of the location definitely feels fitting and what Quinn sees suitable is also rather specific.
The Temple (Le Temple)
Director: Alain Fournier
The Temple is an animated short film about the crew of a German U-boat that sinks into the depths to avoid an enemy attack when they realize they can no longer go back up to the surface. As the U-boat drops into the depths, madness strikes the staff until he drops to the bottom and sees a temple.
The Temple is a really well-done short. The story it tells at the beginning with the war and attack creates a good start for the story. It combines both a narrative style and dialogue between conversations. As they sink lower underground, the imagery that is shown is pretty good since they start seeing all kinds of creepy thing, much like how the crew also slowly falls into their own craziness. The titular Temple isn’t really part of the film but rather shows up very late in the film and yet, it manages to feel meaningful to the story and the purpose. The animation, the visual, the premise: The Temple does a really good job in all these elements to create a memorable film experience.
The Fore-Men (2022)
Director (and writer): Adrian Bobb
Weeks after a mysterious time-compression event violently splices environments from the past and future into the present, two survivors encounter the foreboding figures responsible for the event and experience firsthand their sinister nature. – IMDB
The Fore-Men is one of the more mind-bending and future apocalypse sort of feeling to the whole story. It follows a woman who is a researcher to see what the world has suddenly become and what lurks in the land creating this new environment. Its one of the shorts that feel like its a snippet of a much bigger scope and world building which would be suitable to expand into something much bigger to explore. This world is rather fascinating. At parts feeling a little like the enchantment of Annihilation with its big snails and creatures hanging around while there is something much more dangerous lurking around and while that form seems to be made up of many table lamps combined together, it still has this interesting imagery at the last scene when the camera pulls away that is very neat.
Nude (Nu, 2022)
Director (and writer): Olivier Labonté-LeMoyne
Nude is a French Canadian short that follows a couple driving into the woods looking for a secluded spot to make love. When they finally feel like they have found it, they start to realize they are being watched.
Nude is an odd and creepy short. In some ways, the couple themselves have some interesting dialogue but once things start getting weird the story gets a little creepy. There are some unsettling moments as what the man is worried about comes true in abundance. Not to mention, as they try to escape, the whole process has a certain creepy element to it. The film does jump from daytime to evening very quickly which is something that feels a tad odd in terms of flow of events but overall, the story itself while doesn’t quite explain what happens in the end, it gives room for the audience to draw their own conclusions (unless its just me not getting the point). However, the atmosphere is well created that the shadows and darkness are used to their advantage.
Director: Travis Laidlaw
The Trunk is a short about a father and daughter who finds a chained up trunk in the woods and brings it home to see what valuables are inside. Right from the poster above, you can tell that what they found is not valuable and pretty horrific in general. While its never quite explained, it sure feels like what they unleashed is some kind of witch (or something along those lines).
The Trunk is an interesting one to talk about. While the premise of the trunk and the unknown of what’s inside is what creates a lot of mystery especially against the dark backdrop as its set at night. The story does have a certain level of predictability especially when it comes to what appears in the trunk is sinister and what happens afterwards to the father and daughter.
In The Shadows (Dans l’ombre)
Director (and co-writer): David Emond-Ferrat
Melanie, a newly separated mother, is spending a weekend at her mother’s house with Tom, her 8-year-old son who is still unaware of the breakup. In the shadows, a creature in search of fresh flesh lies in wait for them, examines them and searches for their loophole in order to lure them into its lair. – IMDB
No doubt the best short of the entire program. Dans L’Ombre packed in some well-executed horror moments and had a really good flow to their story and its pacing. For a short, it had a solid narrative structure and a few nice tricks up its sleeve that made it truly stand out. There were some decent unsettling and creepy moments and some other moments, the atmosphere had this dread and impending danger feeling throughout. The use of the danger that lurks in the shadows created some nice scary moments as well. Well-executed, well-acted and a good story: Dans l’Ombre is an exceptional horror short.
Director: Milos Mitrovic
The Community is about two men who go to find a secret in the woods which goes a bit against their expectation when they end up finding something else more than they expected in the process.
The Community is a comedy short. It tries to build up some mystery as to what they are looking for in the woods which basically has its big reveal when they meet other people in the woods doing a similar act. What they find is a community as the titles hints at of a group of men having a shared hobby together. You go and piece together what the possibilities are. This one’s downright silly and not exactly my type of humor but that’s just how it is with comedy, it just doesn’t work for everyone.