White men. Ruining everything since the dawn of time.
Recently I have been watching some pretty cool short films on youtube, because I, unfortunately, exhausted my supply of feature films. Most of them, on average, are about fifteen minutes long. But the great thing about short films is that they aren’t spread thin like longer feature films, which means greater attention to detail. Short films also offer more creative freedom and they give talented filmmakers the chance to show their work. So let’s dig in!
1.) The IMom
Directed by Ariel Martin, The IMom is a dark science fiction film that tells of a future in which the work of a mother is done instead by a robot, called the IMom. What could possibly go wrong, right? Well, the immediate result is a detached and lazy biological mother, who is more interested in her phone than she is her own children. Meanwhile, the eldest son, Sam, is not particularly fond of his real mother or the IMom, even though the IMom is the one cooking for him and helping him memorize the Bible as part of his homework.
Fortunately, the IMom has the Gospel of Matthew installed, so she recites the verses for him:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”
There’s a power cut, and IMom seems to glitch for a few moments, before recovering and returning to normal. Then she shares a heartwarming moment with Sam. They talk about the sheep and the wolf again. Sam asks her, which one are you? You look like me, so you must be a sheep like me.
But IMom is neither. Brace yourself for a horrible twisty ending.
2.) The Top of the Stairs: Agatha
This one is a neat little period piece, but it’s not like Downton Abbey or Poldark. Agatha, directed by Timothy Vandenberg, is more reminiscent of 2012’s The Woman in Black, and I loved every second of it. We begin in an old house, probably around the early 20th century. A little girl stands in the hallway, where she is asked by a stern-sounding lady if she has come alone, as requested. The lady instructs her that her job is to take food up to the attic, place the food on the table, then leave. She must never, ever walk past the table.
So the little girls goes up into the dark attic with a plate of raw chicken. There’s a figure lying on the bed, who makes this horrible wheezing sound—not reassuring, right? But she manages to put the plate down without incident, then she gets paid for doing so. The little girl does this several more times. The second time the figure is nowhere to be seen, the third time it’s sitting by the window. You’ll have to find out what happens next. I recommend this one for the sheer creepiness factor and the incredible makeup work. It sent shivers up my spine.
3. And They Watched
Inspired by the reinstatement of the electric chair in Tennessee, Toronto-based director Vivian Lin dives into the topic of capital punishment her gruesome yet thought-provoking film, And They Watched.
A prison janitor goes about his job, numb to the dreadful realities of the place where he works. He cleans the windows that separate the electric chair from its audience, paying no mind to the lives that have been lost there. He’s so divorced from reality that he doesn’t even notice the grisly apparitions following him around. However, the deceased prisoners want retribution.
If you are a fan of the Alien franchise, then Dédalo, directed Jerónimo Rocha, is certainly something to watch. It’s a dark and grimy science fiction horror that takes place aboard a space freighter, which has been overrun by alien creatures. Siena, the main character, must survive in the maze of machinery while avoiding the creatures, who are eating her crewmates.
5.) The Exorcism
This one isn’t so much a horror film, but more of a comedic homage to the 1973 classic, The Exorcist. So, if you have a dark sense of humour, this will give you the giggles at the very least. The Exorcism, by Adam Bolt, explores the surprisingly endearing relationship that has developed over the years between the demon Valak and Jacob, the exorcist on call. Together they recount all the times they’ve met, telling stories to the bewildered and markedly unimpressed sister of the possessed woman. It’s a wild ride, let me tell you, and absolutely worth a watch.
That’s all we have for now! Let us know what you think about these spooky films in the comments, or give us a shout on twitter @atticvoices!
Starting today, Voices In The Attic will be recommending films and shows from Netflix, Prime, and Shudder, so we can spread the good news about the haunting and horrific stuff we’ve been watching. And this is our very first one! So let us begin the rundown of incredible Netflix content!
Train To Busan 
I couldn't write about content on Netflix without mentioning South Korean zombie movie, Train to Busan, directed Yeon Sang-ho. This one premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 to some great reviews from both critics and audience members alike, which rarely happens. The plot goes like this: Fund manager Seok-woo boards a train with his young daughter, Su-an, at Seoul Station. The train is heading to the city of Busan, where they intend to visit Su-an’s mother. Unfortunately, as the train leaves, an attendant discovers a woman collapsed by the doors.
The attendant radio’s for help, crucially turning her back to the unresponsive passenger. At that point, the passenger rises from the floor and sets upon the attendant, biting her and transferring a pretty horrifying virus. From that point on, as you would expect, it’s absolute chaos on the train, with survivors separated by cars full of zombies. I almost expected Samuel L. Jackson to show up and yell: “I’ve had it with these motherf#%king zombies on this motherf#%king train!”.
In all seriousness, it’s an incredible movie, with realistic special effects and characters that you can’t help but get invested in. I should also mention that Gong-yoo’s performance as Seok-woo brought me to tears, which is pretty hard to do.
2. The VVitch 
The VVitch, when it came out in 2015, was not just one of the best horror movies to come out that year, but perhaps amongst the greatest horror films of the decade. Not only was The VVitch a box office success, but it also earned critical acclaim for its historic detail, subtle details, and thought-provoking subject matter. The story begins in New England in the 1630s, at which time the British colonies in America are gripped by Puritan fantasticism and witch hysteria. After being banished from the Plymouth colony over a ‘religious dispute’, the family of William and Katherine settle on the edge of a remote forest with their five children: Thomasin, Caleb, Mercy, Jonas, and newborn Samuel. Thomasin goes out to play peekaboo with Samuel, only to have him vanish into thin air while her hands are over her eyes. And they never find him, which causes Katherine to become stricken with grief. William insists that Samuel was taken by a wolf, when in fact it was a horrifying witch.
Anya Taylor-Joy delivers a spell-binding (pun intended) performance as Thomasin, as she bears the brunt of the hysteria from the rest of her family. One can understand why a woman might choose to be a witch in such a tense and oppressive environment, where a family member can turn upon a family member, and women are persecuted without proof. If you love atmospheric, mature horror movies, The VVitch is for you.
3. Errementari: The Blacksmith and The Devil 
In late 2017, one of my personal favourite historical horror films came out, and now that it’s on Netflix, you can watch it too! The film is Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil, directed by Paul Urkijo. It’s an adaption of an old Basque folk-tale, about a Blacksmith who keeps a demon, named Sartael, in a cage to avoid paying a debt to Hell. The blacksmith has the situation under control until an orphan girl shows up.
I won’t spoil the rest of the film for you, however, I will say that it’s a perfect combination of horror and fantasy, with some comedy and wonderful redemption stories. And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal artistry that clearly went into the make-up in this film. I would recommend this film to anyone.
4. The Alienist 
One of my favourite television shows to run in 2018 has got to be The Alienist, originally broadcast on the TNT network before being added to Netflix. It’s an adaption of author Caleb Carr’s crime novel The Alienist, the first book of a series. The series is billed as a psychological thriller, set in 1896, New York City. Newly appointed police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt commissions criminal psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and newspaper illustrator John Moore to investigate the grisly murders of boy prostitutes. They are joined by Sara Howard, Roosevelt’s secretary and the first woman employed by the NYPD. Over the ten gripping episodes of season one, the trio wade through the dark secrets of New York, inching ever closer to the murderer.
I enjoyed this show from start to finish, and I am eagerly anticipating the return of Dakota Fanning as Sara Howard in the second season and sequel, The Angel of Darkness.
5. The Ritual 
Netflix Original The Ritual came out in 2017, and I was quick to watch it the moment it appeared on the site. As the banner suggests, the premise of this film is a hiking trip in Sweden, undertaken by four woefully under-equipped friends, who are doing the trip in honour of their late best friend, Rob. They embark upon their trip in the Sarek National Park, and all is going well, until Hutch leads them off on a shortcut and they get lost. And then it gets worse, as it often does on hiking trips. The group soon begin to find runes carved on trees, and savaged animals hanging from branches. There is quite a bit of gore in this one, so don’t go into it if you have a weak stomach, but it’s definitely worth a watch.
6. Diablero 
Here’s another excellent Netflix original, Diablero, an 8-episode Mexican horror series based on the book El Diablo me obligó by Francisco Haghenbeck. The series follows Father Ramiro Ventura, brother and sister demon hunter duo Elvis and Keta Infante, and Nancy Gama, who can become possessed by demons at will. These four make quite the superhero team. And if you are looking for some awesome female main characters, Diablero certainly outdoes CW’s Supernatural, because none of them die. Wow! What a concept! So press the play button and binge the whole thing in one night.
Tell us what spooky and strange stuff you’ve enjoyed on Netflix, or better yet, recommend us movies and shows to review next time!