HEAD TRIP shorts program
“Head Trip” is a series of 9 ingenious shorts featured at this week’s Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. They range from deeply dark to laugh-out-loud funny.
Lips, dir. Nicole Tegelaar (Netherlands, Belgium)
Talk about body horror. This short is laser-focused on a particular body part. A young woman awakens in a mysterious clinic. She’s been injured and requires surgery. This one kept me guessing as to who was the bigger danger: the staff or the other patients.
The Departure, dir. Nico van den Brink (Netherlands)
A melancholy, beautiful piece from the Netherlands. The principal characters create immediate rapport despite the short run time, and the cinematography was top-notch. A tragic and thoughtful journey into loss and longing that had me wishing for more.
A Tale Best Forgotten, dir. Tomas Stark (Sweden)
Adapted from a Helen Adam ballade, this is one killer tune.
Sudden Light, dir. Sophie Littman (UK)
My favorite short of the group is a dreamlike countryside odyssey into doubt and fear. Mia (Esme Creed-Miles) and Squeeze (Millie) are walking their dog home, and take a fateful shortcut through a field. I loved the way this short fully harnesses its countryside setting – mud, branches, and smoke all combine into an overwhelming rush. The caliber of talent involved makes you wish for a feature-length narrative.
Tropaion, dir. Kjersti Helen Rasmussen (Norway)
A testament to the power of the wilderness, this short contains barely any dialogue. Stark images are the sole driver of the narrative. The child performers, in particular, are excellent.
The Faraway Man, dir. Megan Gilbert, Jill Hogan (USA)
A powerful narrative on the way evil can manifest itself. A young woman is haunted by the figure of a man, dressed in black, watching from distance. A great example of how blurred the line can be between horror and tragedy. Another short that could easily be stretched to a feature.
Man or Tree, dir. Varun Raman, Tom Hancock (UK)
A breath of fresh air. Imagine you partied too hard and woke up transformed into a tree. I guess you could say this is the rare short that focuses on the trees instead of the whole forest.
Playing With Spiders, dir. Rylan Rafferty (USA)
A disturbing glance behind the curtain of a small cult that worships, you guessed it, spiders. The night before a fateful ritual, Lydia (Kelly Curran) begins to ask some big questions of her peers and leaders. Is she a skeptic, or the only true believer? Even though this had a comedic tone at times, it got the biggest jump scare of the night.
A Puff Before Dying, dir. Mike Pinkney, Michael Reich (USA)
An absolute gut-buster of a short. Like “Team America: World Police” on acid. When 3 teen girls (who are also marionettes) hit the road for a night out, the devil’s lettuce quickly rears its tempestuous head. Will they have the willpower to resist, or will the night end in tragedy?
Today is the final day of BHFF 2021. You can still get tickets to the CLOSING NIGHT film
by clicking this LINK.
Fair warning, it is not for the faint of heart.