The short film programme of Fright Fest is, I would suggest, one of the most important strands of the festival. It introduces up and coming talent and also gives established filmmakers to try something different and test themselves in what it a quite a difficult discipline. Unfortunately like their counterparts in the world of literature the shorts are generally not given much of a spotlight, and considered uneconomic. However, they are worth investigating. Some are easier to find than others but a bit of digging will hopefully bring some reward.

I’ve pulled programmes 2 and 3 together with some very brief notes.

•Catcalls – lads being lads is a laugh for, lads. But not everyone sees the joke in this timely caustic and vicious Irish entry. (4/5)
•Madder Isle – nuns again in this stop-motion animation transformation story that’s imaginative though a trifle opaque. (3/5)
•Wrong Number – an effective and moody set piece of a woman suffering a nightmare then tormented by phone calls until it all becomes horribly clear. (3/5)
•Marta – why can’t women be serial killers poses Marta as she makes her case in this very funny short from Spain. (4/5)
•Fire in Cardboard City – it’s hot, its dry and Cardboard City is alight! A hysterical disaster short from New Zealand. (4/5)
•The Blue Door – a nurse’s life is hard enough without having to worry about secrets and sinister blue doors in this effective horror. (3/5)
•Salt – considered essential by chefs, this fast paced short shocker shows it has other essential uses. (4/5)
•Reprisal - a contemplative story of profound loss that maybe doesn’t quite envelop the viewer the way it was intended. (3/5)
•Be Uncertain – a slick sci-fi that plays and confuses with time and lost control, features a man in a neon trimmed suit on a mission. (3/5)
•There are No Dividends – a clunky comedy/horror that doesn’t quite hit its satirical target of the single minded, cast all aside businessman. (2/5)
•Envy – loyalty isn’t what it was, or is it, in this drama school drama with a neat little twist. (4/5)
•Baghead – highly original story of a man seeking (expensive) post relationship closure through extreme means. (4/5)
•The Cost of Living – this story probably just confirms what most people already suspected about landlord’s lusts. (3/5)
•Corvidae – a beautifully measured tale in which an act of wickedness triggers kindness in kind and vengeance. (4/5)
•NeckFace – there’s a blemish on the bride leading to a very funny reappraisal of her forthcoming nuptials. (4/5)
•Special Day – a family reunite for a landmark birthday in this weird and
•The Lady in 406 – smoking is a habit that could have unforeseen consequences in this South Korean oddity. (3/5)
•Right Place, Wrong Time – irritating beyond belief film set in and around a sitcom – could that have been the point? (2/5)
•Puppet Master – an unnerving story from Finland of obsession and possession that maybe offers more visually than narratively. (3/5)
•Payment – it’s a devil of a choice when the beast comes a calling for his due in this rather dull two hander. (2/5)

I would have liked to covered the first programme too but it sold out, which is actually something to pleased about.