Best Genre Short Films of Sundance 2013

This year, the Sundance Film Festival's Short Film Program is comprised of 65 short films. Fortunately for us non-Utah folk, the Sundance folks have made twelve of those films available to us on YouTube, with more supposedly on the way. Having watched all twelve, I am happy to share with you those movies I consider "genre" shorts. The dozen were actually surprisingly dominated by films about violence and horror. Here are those genre shorts, ranked from my least favorite to most favorite:

7) When the Zombies Come

This short documentary is about an Ace Hardware employee who has a detailed plan for the zombie apocalypse. Basically, the filmmakers found the dumbest Walking Dead fan they could and videotaped him saying brilliant things like, "No shows ever teach you what happens to zombies in the rain" and "That [Verizon cell tower] is 150,000 feet in the air." It's akin to watching Honey Boo-Boo or some such reality tv crap where you only tune in to see how stupid one person can be.

6) Movies Made From Home #6

A very simple found-footage style short that slowly unfolds an eerie tale. Frankly, it's simple to a fault, and a bit pretentious, but the concept is interesting. So long as you can look past the glaring typographical error. 


5) Catnip: Egress to Oblivion?

Fans of Jason Eisener and other throwback filmmakers will probably enjoy the aesthetics of this homage to 1970s educational films. It is kinda like "Reefer Madness" for cats. While the visuals and music work perfectly for the desired style of the film, the joke gets old very fast. Beyond the concept of, 'Cat nip is like drugs for cats', there is little more to see.


4) Black Metal

This one is more on the drama side, but is about a death metal frontman dealing with the fact that his band inspired a brutal killing. It is short and lacks resolution, but it pulls you in right away thanks to a stirring, familiar story and solid actors. 

**If you only watch a handful of the shorts, make it these next three. These are the only ones I felt compelled to rewind and watch again (sometimes even 3x)**

3) Broken Night

Of the dozen, this one is the most like a traditional horror film. Hell on Wheels' lovely Dominique McElligott stars in this short about a car accident-turned-worse. Though a bit underwhelming, the story is simple and creepy. 

2) The Apocalypse

Here is easily the most fun short of the bunch, and certainly the one most up my alley. To say what it is about would spoil all the fun, so just watch it, especially if you're a gore-hound. Or if you like Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks; Party Down). The short reminds me a bit of Rubber but don't let that discourage you - it's simple, silly fun

1) The Event

Honestly, I did not expect to even like this one, let alone place it at #1. I am not usually a fan of these artsy animated movies but this one simultaneously intrigued and disturbed the fuck out of me. The post-apocalyptic story, which unfolds in reverse, is so haunting and horrifying that I forgot I was watching cartoon animals. Each time I watched it, it became even more disturbing to me. I still do not completely understand the very end, but it does not matter. This one may be too "pretentious" for some people (trust me, I'm usually one of those people) but I found it to be unnerving and unique. 

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