New Halloween Horror Anthology Series on YouTube
I was recently contacted by Writer/Director James Morris, a filmmaker with the horror production company Witching Season Films. James reached out to see if our readers might be interested in their new Halloween horror anthology web series called The Witching Season. He described the series as “Goosebumps” for adults, which definitely piqued my interest.
THE WITCHING SEASON is a Halloween horror anthology series, inspired by classic anthology shows such as Tales From The Crypt, The Twilight Zone, and Are You Afraid Of The Dark? Each of the tales is set during the Halloween season. There are enough creative visual and story tie-ins to effectively link each of the very disparate stories, making it feel like a cohesive anthology. The series pays special attention to the spirit of Halloween and reminds us of the magic that exists during this special time of year.
Three episodes have been filmed so far, with a fourth in pre-production. The first three episodes, currently streaming for free on YouTube and at the Witching Season Films website, cover a range of popular sub genres, including slasher films, possession tales, and alien abduction stories. Each of the short films, ranging from 10-15 minutes in length, pays tribute to classic and familiar horror tropes.
Episodes of The Witching Season
The first short film is called “Killer on the Loose” about an escaped killer who lurks in the shadows of an isolated home on Halloween night. Written and Directed by series creator Michael Ballif, this slasher film pays homage to classics horror films of the 80’s, but with its own Witching Season twist.
In the second short, “Princess”, Writer/Director James Morris takes the series in a new direction of terror while exploring the paranormal sub genre in this story about a single mom and her daughter who move into a new home, only to discover the prior tenants may have intentionally left behind something evil.
Finally, the third episode of the series, also written and directed by Morris, explores the realm of sci-fi horror. “Not Alone” is abut a man who wakes from a horrific nightmare, struggling to bridge the gab between his dreams and reality in the darkness of his room.
A nostalgia-fueled appreciation for the genre permeates each of the films. This reverential homage is enhanced by creative storytelling, great camera work, strong sound and visual design, and surprisingly solid acting for such a low budget affair. The shorts look great, especially when watching them in all their 2k or 4k glory.
The intro for the series does a great job properly setting the tone, effectively invoking that old school slasher vibe reminiscent of films like Halloween, with an eerily haunting score by Slasher Dave. In fact, sounds plays a crucial role in each of the shorts, and composer Randin Graves does an exceptional job setting an effective mood and tone throughout. It’s a highly effective score that creates a great sense of tension and atmosphere.
As a film geek and cinephile, I was happy to see the Director’s Commentary features for “Killer on the Loose” and “Princess”. Ballif’s commentary was especially interesting, as he gives the viewer real insight into the behind-the-scenes production elements that went into making the short. It’s definitely geared more towards aspiring filmmakers than the casual viewer, but it greatly enhanced my appreciation for the shorts and the technical skill that went into making them.
You can watch all three episodes of the series at YouTube.com/witchingseasonfilms. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to catch each new episode as it’s released.
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