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Horror Shorts That Should Follow The Lights Out Model And Become Features

We’re seeing a lot of horror movies based on short films these days. Sometimes, the short will be made with the idea of a feature in mind, sometimes it will simply be a short that gains notoriety and finds an audience. One that producers might just happen to see potential in. But it’s nothing new, really. Saw was based on a short film and, going back even further, so was The Evil Dead.

Whether intentional or not, a short can make for a great example piece to sell an idea. Even when they totally work on their own, investors often see them as teasers for larger works. Sometimes the concept is so interesting that new directors—or often the original filmmakers—simply want to come in and expand it.

That’s why we’ve seen movies like Lights Out and Mama recently, and I have a feeling we’re only going to continue to see more. There’s potential with short films. They pack a punch. It can often be an interesting challenge to see if the idea behind a two-minute short can pack the same punch when expanded to feature length.


The image of the ghoul, or ghost, or demon or whatever the hell this thing is, is already a staple on the Internet. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was next in line, even if the premise is so singular.


A man is glued to the Facebook page of his troubled ex-girlfriend who took her own life, watching the comments come in on her birthday. Definitely a horror movie for the social media age. We’ve had a few attempts at that with things like Unfriended, but I really think this one could crack it.

He Took His Skin Off For Me

This is an extremely bizarre film, but one that I think works really, really well. It would be an even more uncomfortable feature, hopefully somewhere between Hellraiser and Pin but with spirit and emotion of Swiss Army Man.


Alma is something I want to see mostly because I want to see a genuinely scary animated horror film and this short is genuinely creepy. Plus, the idea of a shop that feeds on kids’ curiosity by luring them in and turning them into dolls could easily be expanded into a feature.


The Black Hole

Not too much happens in The Black Hole other than a little morality play, but the idea could easily be expanded to a feature and become something really interesting, especially if the physics of it were to be worked out and expanded on.


2AM – The Smiling Man

This short is terrifying. I think most horror fans who watch shorts have probably seen it by now, but it’s so weird and unsettling. It just gets creepier and creepier as it goes, which is remarkable for something with such a short running time.

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Written by Nat Brehmer
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Nathaniel Brehmer has also written for Horror Bid, HorrorDomain, Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting, We Got This Covered, and more. He has also had fiction published in Sanitarium Magazine, Hello Horror, Bloodbond and more. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and his black cat, Poe.
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