SHE

She
Directed by Keegan Wilcox
Written by Matt Pelfrey
2015, USA

Two well-meaning men pick up a highly distressed woman who appears to be lost then discover it is possible that no good deed goes unpunished in this very well made horror short that’s anchored by an excellent acting performance by Claudia Graf.  She is a potent, horror genre- encased glimpse at the devastating effects of sexual violence.

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ELKO

Elko
Written & Directed by Alexander Yan
2011, USA

Veteran short filmmaker Yan takes a deeply unsettling look at a woman seeking her own death online.

Shorn of all genre trappings, Yan’s Elko is a more high-tech version of the type of human horror you see in the works of Douglas Buck, Brandon LaGanke and Matthew Garrett.

Try shaking this one off without supreme effort.

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EL MATADOR

El Matador
Directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero
Written by Shane McKenzie
2013, Canada

This ABCs of Death 2 contest entry (previously known as M is for Matador) is perhaps best described as a brief glimpse into a confined world of total madness.

Guerrero previously made the lesser horror short Dead Crossing and went on to make the horror short El Gigante and the segment “Dias De Los Muertos (aka Day of the Dead)” for the 2014 horror anthology Mexico Barbaro.

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PLAY HOUSE

Play House
Written & Directed by Brandon LaGanke
2012, USA

Ever wondered what short film you should watch to get yourself in the mood for a screening of Joseph Ruben’s 1987 classic The Stepfather?

You found your answer here in LaGanke’s disturbing horror short Play House.

Douglas Buck is correctly considered the godfather of what might be called “domestic horror” in the short film world with his creations Cutting Moments, Home and Prologue.

LaGanke creates another classic in the subgenre with this film.  Play House is a tremendous improvement over LaGanke’s black comedy short film debut Bunny Boy and shows directing talent that begs to be applied to a horror feature.

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T IS FOR TILES

T Is For Tiles
Written & Directed by Victor Garcia
2011, Spain

After years of toiling on feature film sequels and a Syfy Channel movie in the wake of his critically acclaimed short film El Ciclo, Garcia wrote and directed this excellent short film for the ABCs of Death competition that was created to find an entry for the “T” section of the film.

Lee Hardcastle’s claymation short T is for Tiolet won the competition and was included in the film but Garcia’s short is vastly superior to Hardcastle’s well-animated but ultimately juvenile piece.

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BURN

Burn
Written & Directed by Jerry Pyle

2011, USA

Director/screenwriter Pyle makes a very strong debut that channels the brutal essence of the best short story work of Jack Ketchum.

Pyle wisely cast the criminally underrated and underutilized actor Tim Abell in the film.

Mostly known for the late 1990s TV series Soldier of Fortune, Inc. and a lengthy resume of direct-to-DVD films, it’s a true mystery why the talented Abell did not show up in a major recurring role on Sons of Anarchy, Justified or any number of other more high-profile projects.

Pyle also directed the psychopath horror short Service and the darkly comic short Trust.

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OFF SEASON

Off Season
Written & Directed by Jonathan van Tulleken
2009, USA

Director/screenwriter van Tulleken delivers a highly atmospheric, suspenseful short film highlighted by the superb cinematography of Ming Kai Leung.

Van Tulleken has primarily focused on comedy since this great horror short but has had two feature films announced, including a feature version of Off Season.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU

Happy Birthday To You
Written &  Directed by David Alcalde

2006, Spain

Screenwriter/director Alcalde followed up his ambitious apocalyptic black-and-white short film Dr. Curry (1997) with this superb short about a meeting of individuals with very dark secrets.

Despite his obvious talent and a very successful career directing commercials in Spain, a feature film has eluded Alcalde, who in the past has been connected to the horror films 27 Times (aka The Seeing) and In the Playground-a remake of the 1976 Spanish killer kids classic Who Can Kill a Child?.

Both of these projects fell apart-Who Can Kill a Child? was remade in 2012 as Come Out and Play by another director-but it’s been announced that Alcalde is set to helm an unnecessary remake of the 2006 French home invasion film Ils (aka Them).

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