Origin Story

Short form horror is a vital-if undervalued- part of the horror cinema landscape. 

With almost no direct commercial application outside inclusion in horror anthology films such as THE ABCs OF DEATH series, the V/H/S series or any number of other entries in the current wave of portmanteau terror, horror shorts exist primarily as important professional calling cards for up and coming filmmakers.

But horror short films are also an essential part of the creative aspect of horror cinema.

In an ideal world there would be a horror short film played before the screening of any horror feature in every theatrical and home venue but, as some of you may have noticed, this is not an ideal world.

While no substantive discussion of horror literature would exclude the world of horror short stories, horror short films are rarely if ever discussed as an indispensable element of horror cinema.

Lovers of horror cinema that primarily watch feature films are denying themselves a large number of superb achievements and displays of tremendous talent if they choose not to dive deeply into the world of short form horror.

And the world of horror short films is a massive one indeed.  If horror features are The Pacific Ocean then horror short films are The Seven Seas.  Some viewers might want some guidance as they navigate this great expanse.

Beginning in 2013, with that idea in mind, I created a trio of articles for the great pop culture website PopOptiq (formerly known as Sound on Sight) that collected outstanding live-action horror short films with the goal of giving the reader an online viewing experience equivalent to watching a curated horror short films program at a film festival.

These well-received articles-the content of which formed the basis of this site-were also intended to give more exposure to the talented filmmakers behind the short films.

While doing research for a fourth installment of the series and waiting for a number of highly regarded horror shorts to finish their festival runs and be made available online, I realized I wanted to do more than a series of occasional articles which brings us to the creation of the website you are now reading.

Horror short films are very well represented at genre-oriented festivals like The Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, Film4 FrightFest in London, Fantastic Fest in Austin and other outstanding festivals around the world as well as stand-alone events like the Little Terrors series in Toronto and the Vivisections series in Philadelphia.

But horror shorts are woefully underrepresented online in terms of single destination viewing of a researched, curated, ever-growing selection of outstanding works in the field.

This site was created to help remedy that situation. 

The Brief Macabre is not akin to a video channel someone has to browse their way through to find the gems.  I search for only the best in the live-action horror short film arena and carefully select each pick for the site.

Readers of this site can rest assured that if a horror short is on The Brief Macabre, it is a must-see.

Terek Puckett, Founder & Operator of The Brief Macabre