Nah, we don’t need another floating white cloth or anything close to that.
Gone are the days of ghosts being the stars of Halloween. Some still do manage to make us squeal in fright, but we’ve learned to be immune to their usual tactics, yeah? Well, there’s more to spooky—it all just needs some well-crafted execution of light, looks, words, sound, and story. Fortunately, we have our own local filmmakers to ensure that kind of adventure.
Thanks to Viddsee, we can score 7- to 30-minute goosebumps for free.
Dir. Ralph Quincena and Patricia Ramirez
This outstandingly designed short also has one of the most unique and smoothly delivered concepts of all films listed here. It stands out for its successful attempt to utilize the element of scare to create discourse on self-identity, and it doesn’t even try too hard to perfect its edges. It’s the type of thing that just happens so successfully, like a sweater you didn’t know you needed. With acting and sound well-blended, this stays with you in your sleep.
Be prepared for: Awakening that tugs your heart before it beats again.
Dir. George Macapagal
With its title being an instant giveaway, going through the whole of this will absolutely make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells (but not complaining, ’cause you need to know what rolls next, right?). This award-winning short is brave in all its angles—the good and the mad, as well as the issue it digs and the metaphors that stick in your peripheral vision. It’s a brand new blood of cinematic experience mainly built on clever screenplay.
Be prepared for: What the hecks brought by things you wouldn’t even take a second glance at.
Dir. Miguel Fernandez
Captivating for its mood and characters, this tells an almost-silent story about a boy who attends school every day and ends up staring at the seesaw. It successfully paints how one’s internal development is structured by his constant external interactions.
Be prepared for: Probably, nostalgia holding a knife.
Dir. Christian Alan Toring
Blood-rushing, kicking, and silencing the unnecessary noise, this is an example of a consistently held narrative. Taking you to the pre-Philippine Presidential Election period in May 2016, this short film offers a full sensory experience. You need to get your eyes peeled to ride along the blasting emotions.
Be prepared for: I can’t look at the clock the same way ever again kind of feel.
Dir. Frances Louise C. Giner
An experimental masterpiece. Totally beyond its carefully crafted production design, this short tackles love in a way no one dares to–embarrassing, consuming, and filled to the brim with all the ugliness it can ever muster. However, it’s still an obsession all at once. Played in a chess game setting, this short explores the pains of the King and Queen’s relationship in a myriad of metaphors. How does it keep the viewers ’til the end? I’m betting the facial expressions despite having respective coverups.
Be prepared for: An evaluation of things you hold dear.
Home (Nakauwi Na)
Dir. Marvin Cabangunay and Jaynus Oliver
Another film revealing the harsh reality of extrajudicial killings, this creation looks so real, it almost feels like watching a documentary of a person you talked to for a day. This Cinemalaya short follows the story of a jeepney driver in modern and murky Manila as he works more blood, sweat, and tears to send his son–an EJK victim–to a funeral home. As they say, the most painful mourn is the one you never had time for at all.
Be prepared for: Everything. This whole short stings like a visualized death march.
Dir. Diane Ventura
This film won’t apologize for what it pulls you in. It almost sounds like a screech. You are ought to dissect a dialogue between a young man who’s accused of rape and his therapist. That’s all there is to know beforehand.
Be prepared for: Questions only you can answer.
Dir. Brian Patrick Lim
It commences like your usual mainstream horror flick until you’re too trapped to think about it. Strategically shot with well-weaved sound design and commendable special effects, this short flick eventually figures itself along with you. Dialogues echo like a broken record. Guillermo del Toro would probably smile.
Be prepared for: The Pinoy type of kaba.
Int. Kotse. Gabi.
Dir. Epoy Deyto
Fretful is an understatement. You’ll feel like that person with the wrinkled forehead in the backseat. A film like this deserves your full attention–come to think of it, it doesn’t fail in doing so. Does a couple getting lost in the middle of the road sound like an already familiar story to you? We all thought so.
Be prepared for: Colors. Conversations.
Dir. Gab Mesina
If I have to pick one film in this list that needs to be exhibited in a quiet art gallery, I’d go for this. If you have a penchant for the satisfyingly eerie, this might just be one of your favorites. Just enough for its timeframe, this short focuses on a superstition-obsessed woman that’s too quirky to forget. It’s just all fun and games, I guess?
Be prepared for: Laughter, yet until when?
The Moment I Wake
Dir. Mark Armas
Unlike other short films that deceive you first, this one takes you to your fears right away. In this 30-minute documentary, five individuals share their experiences on the frightening phenomena of sleep paralysis. While bangungot traces under one’s pillow, this piece also opens the box for help. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t stay inescapable for too long.
Be prepared for: Minutes of numbness.