Like many of the writers here at PopHorror, I love horror shorts. They not only offer a bite sized chunk of scares but they also only require a fraction of the time investment of a full length feature and you don’t have to wait long for the good stuff. I’ll watch just about anything in horror short form. This method has helped me find some of the best new stories in the genre but it has also discouraged me when the filmmakers didn’t fill their allotted time in the wisest manner. Last night, I finally sat down to watch Viral Films’s Run, a short I had gotten through Twitter that, honestly, didn’t seem all that exciting from the title and description. Was I pleasantly surprised with Run or was I proven right by my initial assumption?
“Run is the story of Suzanne, a seemingly normal teenage girl that, one night, comes into contact with a demonic force intent on possessing her. Suzanne has no choice but to run for her life.”
Filmed in the UK, Run was created by Stranger (2015) team Daniel Mark Young and James Cragie. Between the two of them, they got the direction, script, acting, creature design, production, editing and camera operations done for Run. Besides Craigie, the film also Mari Beaseley (Passage Of My Youth 2017), Martine Beaseley (For Her 2017) and Luke Burridge (The Auction 2016). Melanie Lindsey (Persona TV series) worked with Craigie on the movie’s FX while producer Michelle Barry (For Her 2017) was in charge of cinematography. Adam Woodhous (Stranger 2015) composed the score.
Let me start by saying that this is a tightly packed, tense horror short that cranks up the tension like a pair of medieval thumbscrews. Without wasting any time, Young kicked things off in a chase that still feels like it’s going on. I loved the nod to horror films of yore with the flashing cigarette burns. What a great touch! Good girl Suzanne’s (Mari Beaseley) transformation – or was it there just beneath the surface the whole time? – was great! I can’t wait to see where she ends up next. The other actors were a bit mediocre – especially the driver of the car – but Mari did a fabulous job conveying her terror from this demonic assault.
The bone cracking noises were horrible yet devilishly perfect. I don’t know what they used to make that sound but it had me cringing. Last but not least, the death metal soundtrack for this 12 minute short was spot on. As soon as the credits wrapped, I immediately went to iTunes to download “In the Woods There Is Now Law (1986 Remix)” by Axeslasher. Remember Deathgasm? And its awesome soundtrack? Yeah, that was Axeslasher.
Although Run doesn’t bring anything entirely new to the table (when was the last time that happened with anything?), I was actually pretty impressed with the short. The description implies that the filmmakers saw the plot as going in one direction, but I could totally see it as a psychological film rather than a straight up horror. I’m certainly going to be watching for more from Mari Beaseley and Daniel Mark Young in the future. Want to check out this crazy little short? Look no further – you can see it for free right here!