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Shocktober Short Film Of The Week: ‘Vicious’

Check your calendars kids, ’cause October is finally here. That means there’s a chill in the air, candy corn in every store and a slew of chilling flicks coming to the short form corner here at Cut Print Film. So lock your doors, kill the lights and try not to cover your eyes too much while watching Oliver Park’s haunted house chiller Vicious.

The Plot: Lydia is sure the door was locked when she left for work. Is she alone in the house?

The Film:

Some horror films are all about scares. Others are all about atmosphere. The best films of the genre tend to understand the need to use both in equal measure. Enter Oliver Park’s unsettling, haunted house flick Vicious. The film follows one terrifying night in the life of a young woman being tormented by an evil spirit. Throughout Vicious Park & Co. take more than a few cues from the ‘haunted house movie’ formula, but they double down on the scares by pacing their film to atmospheric perfection.

And Vicious wastes no time setting the mood. The film’s opening moments come via a chill inducing tracking shot through a shadowy hallway, into a bedroom and comes to rest gazing out of a second story window. From that perch, we watch a young woman approach the house. When she arrives at the door, she finds it unlocked. Like that, the stage is set for a deeply unsettling game of cat and mouse. One that plays as an ‘intruder in the house’ horror tale before twisting into supernatural territory.

Once Vicious takes that supernatural turn, Park’s film shifts from deeply unsettling to downright disturbing. Things go bump in empty rooms. Unseen entities seem to linger in the shadows. And nightmares feel a little too real. While Park takes great pleasure in Vicious‘ cleverly plotted jump scares, it’s how he builds to them that so effectively sells the spooky. He makes malicious use of both light and shadow. He finds uneasy energy in a deceptively simple sound design. And he amplifies an underlying sense of dread with a brooding bit of original music. All in, Park takes what might have been a run of the mill haunting tale and turns it into a decidedly Vicious little horror flick.

Meet The Crew:   

Written, Directed & Produced by: Oliver Park Starring: Rachel Winters Director of Photography: Paul Dubridge Edited by: Simon Pearce Music by: Matthew Walker

We hope you enjoy Vicious! Oliver Park’s film spent much of 2015 wowing festival goers and racking up awards along the way. That includes a big win for Best International Short at the Toronto After Dark Festival. Park wasted no time in captializing on his post-Vicious buzz. He’s already completed work on his Vicious followup – a new horror short by the name of Still. That film is making festival rounds as we speak, so keep an eye out for it in the near future. And if you’re dying to find a little more info about Still, you can get do so by clicking right here.

Before you head that way, be sure to check out some of the thousands of other short films – animated, live action and documentary – team Vimeo has curated for your viewing pleasure (via desktop ormobile device … SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting, and you may just stumble across your new favorite filmmaker.

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Patrick Phillips is a Staff Writer for CutPrintFilm and geekinsider.com. He spends his time drinking coffee, buying records, writing stories and wondering why he never started a band. Follow him on Twitter at Patrick Phillips @savagedetectiv