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Fright Bites short horror roundup

Can’t decide what to watch? Checking out these 3 stellar shorts about choices and consequences is one decision you definitely won’t regret.

Lately, it seems we’ve been dealing with the fallout of some big decisions in this country; big decisions with big consequences. Of course, whether a decision is bad or good is often a matter of personal perspective. But there’s no denying the ripple effect some decisions can cause. A single wave can cause a tsunami.

Thus, this month’s Fright Bites focuses on people making tough decisions — from an animated tale of grief to an intense conversation between two adults whose relationship has made a sudden wrong turn, to a man who simply has to decide whether or not to listen to some guidance.

All quick and clever, these three shorts explore how a simple decision can quickly go terribly wrong and the heavy toll a bad decision can exact.

1. Mum’s Sweater (7 minutes)

After her mother’s death, Kim finds solace in wearing her mother’s old sweater. However, the sweater begins to itch and even hurt her, but she still can’t bring herself to take it off.

Directed by Mauriziana Gualdrini, Yi Chen Hsiao, and James Mann, written by Anand K. Varma, Mum’s Sweater tells the story of a young woman, Kim (voiced by Philippa Dawson) who has recently lost her mother.

Going through her old belongings, Kim finds her mom’s sweater and decides to wear it for comfort. Only, the comfort doesn’t last long, and soon, Kim finds it is quite literally destroying her.

Completed with gorgeous animation to tell this story, Mum’s Sweater is both horrifying in how it handles the representation of grief and the very real and life-threatening experience Kim has just trying to get the sweater off.

This short finds its true horrors in the grief that can leave us choking on our own survival.

2. Cuddles (14 minutes)

When the idyllic facade of her relationship is shattered, Emily is left to pick through the pieces for answers.

Directed and written by Paul Horan, Cuddles focuses on a difficult conversation when boundaries are disrespected between two adults.

Emily (Lorna Larkin), who’s been hurt before, has the opportunity to make her date Shawn (Kevin Stidham) pay for forcing himself on her. In an intimate setting, the two have a rather heated discussion about their interactions and expectations of each other.

Slowly revealing more and more information as they continue to talk, this compelling short revolves exclusively around the dialogue between two characters. In many ways, it feels like a scripted play — extremely stripped-down but engaging and effective — and the satisfying ending is worth the wait.

While Horan explains the task of doing this type of story justice as a heavy weight to bear, he attempts to make up for it with an all-female crew.

Cuddles is a worthwhile attempt to lend a voice to an important conversation. 

2. Run (3 minutes)

This late-night run is about to take a deadly turn.

Created by Alex Magaña, Run centers on a recall for fitness trackers. You know those bracelets everyone wears to track how active they are? If you don’t have one, I’m sure you’ve heard of them and may even know someone with one. They let you know when you’ve been sitting for too long, or need to burn more calories before the day ends.

The concept seems alright; it’s just an effort to help people be more active throughout the day. But what happens when the technology turns on its users?

Run plays with this idea when a man’s (Michael Glauser) tracker is part of a recall that endangers its consumers.

At just over 3 minutes, this simple short plays on a very direct problem with our technology. Are these things becoming too intrusive? When do we realize this is all a bit much?

Check out Run before your next workout!

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