Morbidly Beautiful

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For this month’s short horror roundup, we celebrate the month of love with a look at some must-see shorts that take a bite out of romance.

No matter the occasion, horror filmmakers will exploit it to create tales of terror for the masses to consume. The romantic holiday of love, Valentine’s Day, is no different, and — as strange as it may sound — romance and horror have always been intrinsically linked.

In this month of love, I decided to unearth a few romantic horror shorts to see if one or more of these short and sweet treats can steal your heart.

1. LOVE POTION (4 minutes)

A potion to bring back lost love… what could go wrong?

First up is from ACM Official, a favorite go-to of mine for the sillier side of micro shorts.

As with all ACM shorts, Love Potion, written and directed by Alex Magaña, is fun, fast, and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

A couple has recently broken up, and the man uses mystical ways to get his lover back. The potion seems to work, but has he gotten more than he bargained for?

Savagely funny with a perfect setup, fantastic performances, and a great payoff, this short is a great introduction to Magaña’s mastery of the brief but impactful horror comedy short. 

Magaña is an extremely prolific director with 180 short film credits to his name. He releases a new short every week on the ACM YouTube channel. The average length of each short is about three minutes, so digging into his extensive and highly entertaining catalog requires very little time commitment.

If you enjoy Love Potion as much as I do, you should also check out the recently-dropped Valentine’s Day horror short, aptly titled Valentine’s Day. It’s a funny, sadistic, cautionary tale about infidelity in a relationship with some delicious chocolate-coated revenge!

2. DUDECREEPS (19 minutes)

When a woman returns home from an evening jog, she realizes something is different about her boyfriend.

Next up, I headed over to the top purveyor of short-form horror content, ALTER, for a slice of romance.

Directed by Dylan Hamilton-Smith and written by Maebe Allen and Dylan Hamilton-Smith, Dudecreeps starts with a building sense of dread as the viewer is shown the uncomfortable scrutiny of the male gaze and the entitlement of men over women with the main character’s boyfriend letting himself into her home without asking permission.

Soon, though, the tone of the film completely changes as it becomes a full-on comedy horror with Invasion of the Body Snatchers vibes.

It’s the story of one night, told from two different perspectives, and it’s a thrilling and inventive ride.

This one was a brilliant ride from start to finish, leaving me wondering where it would go next.

3. BE MINE (2 minutes)

Valentine’s Day surprise, Cupid has a Crossbow.

Be Mine is a fun short clocking in at just under 2 minutes. This one focuses heavily on Valentine’s Day imagery to tell a very quick tale of a home invasion, featuring a killer Cupid firing his arrow and a bloody heart.

This is the first time I’ve come across Garf TV, and it looks like they have some good shorts in their collection, so it’s definitely a rabbit hole I’ll be happy to jump down in the future.

Garf TV states its mission is to tell monster stories that bring the world closer together.

“We believe scary stories unite us and help us face our most powerful emotions. We want to create the next generation of iconic monsters — with you and for you. We love scary stories, we believe scary stories unite us and the best ones make us a little more connected to each other. Garf TV collaborates with storytellers around the world to bring the next generation of monster stories to life _ for you, for free, every day.”

It looks to be a part of the Gunpowder + Sky network, the platform responsible for Alter that aims to create content that resonates and impacts pop culture conversation, by empowering creators to take risks and experiment relentlessly in the pursuit of novel stories and formats.

4. KISSED (6 minutes)

A coroner touches up the new body in the morgue and adds a few touches of his own. But after taking his obsession one step too far, he must face the grave consequences.

For my next pick, I once again found myself in the familiar waters of the ALTER YouTube page to find this gem, written and directed by Elwood Quincey Walker.

Would it really be a romantic/Valentine’s horror list without just a little bit of necrophilia? Of course not!

ALTER delivered with KISSED, the story of a morgue technician with depraved and unspeakable desires abusing a body in his care before getting a real shock and some comeuppance for his deeds.

KISSED is exactly what you would expect from a short where the main theme is necrophilia.

This twisted short doesn’t really cover any new ground, but it’s grisly, uncomfortable, and has a great payoff!


4. MY BLOODY VALENTINE (13 minutes)

Love hurts. And it makes a bloody mess.

Finally, I stayed with ALTER for a short film that was actually romantic!

My Bloody Valentine, written and Directed by Seb Billings, tells a story about putting yourself out there for love, learning to cope with heartbreak, and trying to love again.

I think this one could be read in a number of different ways, but as the optimist that I am, I saw it as a hopeful piece about being able to carry on after giving your heart away and the lengths that people will go to to make love work.

My Bloody Valentine does all this effectively with some very on-the-nose imagery and grisly body horror.

My final choice was my favorite from the whole bunch. If you only have a few minutes spare, this is the one I’d recommend first this February!


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