Tag Archives: Halloween

5 Funny Short Horror Films You Should Watch This Halloween

One of the things I love the most about Halloween is seeing all of the creative things storytellers do with common horror, science fiction, and fantasy tropes at this time of the year. There’s something about the Halloween season that seems to bring out the best in writers, filmmakers, and other creators.

The films in today’s post represent a wide range of subgenres, filming styles, and intended audiences. That was something I did intentionally to increase the chances that all of my visitors would find something that appealed to them. It was also a great deal of fun to find five films that wouldn’t normally be grouped together.

My other major criteria was to find examples of funny horror stories that had as little gore as possible. As I’ve mentioned here before, I don’t enjoy that sort of thing. I’d much rather be frightened by thoughts and feelings than seeing a monster tear someone apart.

I will be sharing mild spoilers about the amount of gore in each film, if any, so you can decide for yourselves which ones you’d like to see if this is also a concern for you.

Happy Halloween

Created byNikhilesh Kumar.

Run Time: 2 minutes, 35 seconds.

Gore Factor: None.

Why You Should Watch It:

It takes years for children to learn the many rules rules of operating in polite society well enough that they can blend in just about anywhere.

I think it’s amusing to observe the process of their minds learning why rules are created in the first place, when it’s okay to bend a rule, why some rules only apply in certain situations, and what happens when someone breaks rules (whether intentionally or unintentionally). The main character in this story is the sort of person who has memorized a specific rule but hasn’t yet figured out why it exists.

Honestly, I have a lot of empathy for that little guy. His predicament was funny, but it also made me wonder how frustrated he might have been getting with the whole process.


The Lonely Slasher: Short Halloween Film

Created byTheThreeLancers. Score by Sam Holmes.

Run Time: 5 minutes, 38 seconds.

Gore Factor: A few briefly bloody scenes. I looked away for a few seconds at one point as my tolerance for gore is pretty low these days.

Why You Should Watch It:

I appreciated this film’s take on why people do the things they do. In no way did it make excuses for The Lonely Slasher, but I did come to understand why his body count was so high. While I wouldn’t necessarily call him a protagonist, there were parts of him that I found relatable on a much smaller scale. I mean, who hasn’t occasionally put their foot in their mouth at the worst possible time or accidentally bumped into a stranger?

The Chebo

Created by:  Ryan McDuffie from Crypt TV

Run Time: 9 minutes, 18 seconds

Gore Factor: Two mildly violent scenes, but no real gore.

Why You Should Watch It:

Miscommunications sometimes happen in every long-term relationship. I was fascinated by how the creator took this concept, turned it into a literal member of the household, and then pushed his creativity to the limits to show what can happen when a couple aren’t on the same wavelength.

Boo – A Short Film About Halloween, Ghosts, and Poop 

Created by: Michael J. Goldberg

Run Time:  11 minutes, 52 seconds.

Gore Factor: None.

Why You Should Watch It:

Not every ghost is necessarily scary in the way you expect them to be. I loved the plot twists in this one after the house sitter first encountered the ghost and was thoroughly unimpressed with what she believed to be his or her costume and persona. It was the total opposite of how I thought the first scene would go, so I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next.

Also, I think I might have been the only kid in the world who liked receiving those little boxes of raisins. So I never would have haunted this house in the first place.

Welcome Back, Mr. Buzzcock

Created by: Liz Anderson from Crypt TV

Run Time: 4 minutes, 43 seconds.

Gore Factor: Minimal. The camera panned away just before every gory scene actually happened, but it was heavily foreshadowed and implied.

Why You Should Watch It:

There’s always room for more stories about the tensions that can exist between one generation and the next, especially when it makes its point as quietly as this one does. This is something I’d happily show to the next person I meet who starts complaining about how people from a particular generation act.

I also enjoyed the way the secondary characters behaved in this film. Without giving away too many spoilers, they were much more intelligent and aware of their surroundings than most characters are in this genre. I really love it when that happens!


What is your favourite humorous Halloween short film?

Suggestion Saturday: October 27, 2018

Happy Halloween! Here is this week’s gigantic list of blog posts, comic strips, stories, and other links from the scariest corners of the web. I’ve labelled the links that include gory content. If you have other questions about what a specific link contains, feel free to ask.

Imagine the Sound of This, but in the Night. Some people truly don’t like Halloween or the feeling of being frightened. If this applies to you, this link is the most innocent approach to “horror” I can imagine and should be 100% safe for all age groups.

Still an Elf via ‪laura_perras‬. The author of this post was undergoing treatment for cancer during the Halloween season a few years ago. I loved seeing how she found a way to celebrate that acknowledged her health struggles.

Halloween Costumes 101 via CandyKorman. I couldn’t agree with these recommendations more.

Humaine Holidays According to Cat. Are you prepared for  “forbidden chocolotes & doorbell night”? Yes, all of these words were misspelled on purpose. Click on the link to find out why.

Come Play With Us. If you’ve seen The Shining, you might be amused by what could have happened if Danny had decided to go play with the twin ghost girls he met in a hallway one day. Don’t worry, this isn’t a gory link. I would have warned you if it were.

100 Best Horror Novels and Stories. There were a lot of classic novels on this list. That was a nice surprise.

These Screaming Heads in Ontario Are a Must-Visit This Fall. No, there’s nothing gory about this link. It’s an outdoor art exhibit in Burk’s Falls.

Want to Binge Horror Movies This Halloween? Start with These Short Films on Youtube 
via audendj. Ooh, these were good. The only film on this list that had any gory ( implied or actually shown) was The Thing in the Apartment. I’m trying to straddle the line here between avoiding spoilers and warning readers about content they might be trying to avoid. If anyone needs more details than that, I’ll happily provide them.

Trees – A Halloween Short via SophiaWhitte. Go read this if you want to shudder.

Green Tea. Special thanks to Berthold Gambrel‬ for recommending this spooky story to me last month. It was delightful.

The Worst Halloween Candy, and the Best, Too. Do you agree with this list?

Smoke and Mirrors via SDJackson85. When I was a teenager, I was a little jealous of this gorgeous, antique mirror my mother had inherited from a relative. It was so large that you could stand in front of it and see your whole outfit.  The wooden frame for it was beautiful, too. That mirror came to mind again as I read this story.

Missed Connection: Knocking, Rattling. The spookiest missed connection ever.

Five Most Terrifying Ghost Stories in Ireland. Don’t you wonder how people come up with this stuff? I sure do. Be warned – some of these stories are a little grisly.

Spooky. You’ll be seeing more links from this site occasionally  in the future. I recently discovered it and enjoy its unusual sense of humour.

From Stoning Our Neighbours to Death Makes the Corn Grow High, and Elitist Liberals Should Stop Attacking This Traditional Value:

Lotteries and ritual stoning are integral parts of American life. Whether or not the lottery actually increases the yearly harvest, rural working class Americans think it does.

5 Horror Movies You Should Watch If You Dislike the Horror Genre

Sometimes I giggle at the fact that two people who hate horror movies somehow created a daughter who has developed a fondness for the non-gory types of it. I have no idea where my appreciation for getting scared comes from, but it’s one of the few ways in which I’m nothing at all like either one of my parents.

Will my mom and dad be tempted to give any of these films a chance after reading this post? I’m not sure, but here are 5 movies I’d recommend to them and to anyone else who isn’t a fan of the typical horror slash flick. There are horror movies out there that break the stereotypes about this genre, and some of them are truly excellent stories.

The true appeal of these films to me lies in the questions they ask the audience to answer about grief, regret, humour, friendship, and love. A story doesn’t have to be a happy one in order for it to make me see the world in a different light or question some of the assumptions I’ve made about life works in the past.

I’ll include a gore rating on a scale of 10 for each of them so you’ll know which ones to avoid if you truly can’t stand any blood at all.










The Babadook (2014) Gore rating: 0/10.

Years before this tale began, the main character’s husband was killed in a car accident while she was enroute to the hospital to give birth to their son. The storyline picked up years later while she is struggling to raise their son, who has behaviour problems, alone. The Babadook was a monster who soon moved into their home and couldn’t be dislodged no matter how hard they tried to make him go away.

This isn’t your typical horror movie. In fact, it has a lot more to do with grief than it does with anyone harming or being harmed by a supernatural creature.

My first experience with grief happened when my grandmother died. I was seven when she passed away, and it was the first time in my life I realized that I and everyone I loved was going to die someday.

What I love the most about this film was how it explored all of the ways grief interrupts a family’s daily routine. You only need to bury a loved one once, but you’ll be faced with their loss over and over again over the coming days, weeks, months, and years. There is no escaping these moments, and they will often pop up on otherwise good days when you least expect them to.

How, then, do you live with the shadow of grief – or The Babadook – always with you? When you discover the answer to this question, you’ll know why I love this film so much.










Coraline (2009) Gore rating: 0/10.

When a little girl opened a secret door in her home, she discovered a parallel world that was surprisingly similar to our own at first glance. It was only when she met the hidden members of that world that she discovered it’s dark secrets.

Not everyone is as who they appear to be when you first meet them. Sometimes they surprise you in wonderful ways, and at other times they reveal scary sides of themselves. I loved the fact that a kids movie addressed this so openly. It isn’t something I’d recommend to young children, but the storytelling is perfectly creepy for older kids.

The price Coraline would have had to pay to stay in the other world was a nice touch as well. Telling you what it was would give away too many spoilers, but it was exactly the right amount of horror for this age group.











The Others (2001). Gore rating: 0/10.

This is my favourite ghost movie of all time. The plot followed a woman who was living in an old house with her two young children while awaiting news of the fate of her husband, a soldier. After doors began to unlock themselves and the curtains in certain rooms began to get flung open when no one was near them,  she soon became convinced the house was haunted.

Not only was the storytelling top-notch, but I loved the questions The Others asked the audience to ponder. What happens when you can no longer trust your own memory? How should a parent react to a child who is beginning to develop his or her own ideas about how the world works? How do you communicate with a ghost who refuses to acknowledge your existence? How long would you wait for someone you loved who may or may not even still be alive?











Let the Right One In (2008). Gore rating: 3/10.

Vampires are supposed to be many things: violent; bloodthirsty; unnaturally strong; immortal. This one happens to be a petite 12-year-old girl named Eli. After the main character befriended her, all of her secrets began to be revealed.

The scenes that lead to this rating were limited to a scene where Eli feeds on an adult man and another scene where a character is treated for an injury at a hospital. They were both brief, but you may want to skip this one if you can’t handle seeing any blood at all.

For everyone else, this was a fascinating look at how people treat those they sense are different in some way. I really enjoyed how the writers explored the pain of social exclusion and what happens when someone has a secret that is so big it can’t easily be contained.










The Cabin in the Woods (2012). Gore rating: 7/10.

This is by far the goriest movie I’ll be recommending to you today. Do not watch it if you are squeamish.

One of the things I love the most about Joss Whedon’s storytelling is how talented he is at turning stereotypes on their head. Everything from what happens to characters who have sex or who will die first once the bad guys discovered the cabin full of vacationers was upended in this funny – if occasionally slightly bloody – film.

The plot was much more complex than zombies finding innocent people in the woods. I can’t say much about it without giving aways spoilers, but I can tell you that the zombies were released from an underground facility and that there were  technicians working there who were placing bets on everything from who would be killed first to what would happen next.

This is the kind of film that should be watched by anyone who has ever watched a horror movie and shaken their heads at the senseless and often downright ridiculous decisions the main characters make in those kinds of plots. Nobody ever thinks they’d react the same way in that situation.

I enjoyed the commentary from the technicians almost as much as I did the twist ending. If you don’t already know what a Joss Whedon ending can look like, be prepared for something completely unexpected.

Happy Halloween to all of my readers! I hope you found something worth checking out in today’s post

Is This How Ghost Stories Begin?

monday-blogs-2Everything I am about to tell you is completely true.

Some of the older residents of my apartment building like to tell stories about the people who have died here.

One person was young and died suddenly for reasons that I’ve never been able to tease out. There is a hush that comes over the conversation when the elders mention that death.

Someone else is rumoured to have died of smoke inhalation when he made the mistake of evacuating during a fire. According to people who have lived here a long time, that man passed away in the stairwell. They say he would have survived if he’d stayed in his apartment and put a wet towel by the crack under the front door to keep the smoke from wafting in.

The lights in our building flicker a lot. Sometimes the hallway outside of your apartment is brightly lit, and sometimes it’s dim. Lightbulbs burn out quickly, too.

Sound carries in strange ways here. I’ve heard what seems to be hundreds of marbles bouncing around on the floor above me. It’s also common to hear loud thumps and crashes that seem to be coming from every direction at once.

Speaking of sounds, I occasionally hear someone laughing just as I’m about to fall asleep for the night. It is so loud and clear that I could almost swear we were in the same room, but I never see anything when I open my eyes.

Sometimes a breeze whips around the corner of the lobby and prompts the elevator door to open again two or three times just when it was about to close and start moving up to your floor. There are times when that breeze has been so cold that it made me shudder and wrap my jacket around my body more closely.

Human and canine footprints regularly appear on the floor after it’s been mopped.

When the custodians put up the Christmas tree in the lobby, candy canes and old-fashioned ornaments always show up on it within a few days. I’ve never seen anyone place them there, and no one I’ve spoken to admits to adding to the decorations that the people who work in this building had already hung on the branches.

monday-blogs-1These anecdotes could be easily remixed into a modern haunting. There could be a man trapped in the stairwell who is forever trying to reach the bottom floor. Maybe he would be the one who was blamed for the flickering lights, cold breezes, and elevator doors that open over and over again.

The half-formed story about someone dying mysteriously could easily be expanded to include a pet whose footprints appear alongside hers, explain why our local ghost is so obsessed with the annual Christmas tree, and mention why she laughs so loudly at night.

Of course, there are logical explanations for all of these things as well.

A building full of people is bound to have the things breaking down regularly, including lightbulbs and elevators. When the population density is high, there will be folks dropping all kinds of things as they tidy up, do-gooders adding to the festive decorations without wanting to be noticed, children playing with noisy toys on wooden floors, and people who don’t realize how loud they are when they come home late after bar hopping.

It all depends on how you look at it.

Regardless of how you interpreted stories like these, I hope you have a wonderfully spooky Halloween!