Oct. 25 was the kickoff meeting for BG Reel/UFO’s annual Halloween contest, so naturally, all the shorts were horror-themed. The 48 Hour Horror Film Festival is a contest where students form groups, film a short and submit it, all in 48 hours. They are given a category, a prop, a line of dialogue and a global challenge, this one being non-traditional weapons, and put that all into a narrative story.
The first short was by the group, Untitled, with their film, “The Swamp.” The category was a music video, the prop they used was candy corn, their challenge was to include a high or low angle shot and the line was “Did you hear that?” “The Swamp” was about a group of people trying to make a deal with another group of people, who were associated with a man they kidnapped. They end up fighting after a disagreement and the kidnapped man escapes. However, both groups catch up to him and the fight resumes, ending the short.
The second was by Tom Clancy’s Thomas Clancy with their film “Barely Alive.” Their category was suspense and they had two lines as their challenge: “you didn’t hear it from me” and “my cell phone is dead.” They also had to use a handkerchief for a prop. Their short was about a man dealing with his friend’s death by drinking. He hears a noise at night and when he investigates, he sees a figure that starts to chase him. He runs back to his bathroom, where he proceeds to vomit, with his girlfriend coming in and thinking he’s just drunk. When he tries to go to bed he hears a noise again and his friend’s dead body falls out of his closet, so he runs until he encounters the figure from earlier again. He successfully gets out of the house but is then run over by a car, ending the short.
The third film was by Lady Parts Comedy. Their category was slasher and their line was “I am beyond frustrated.” The prop was a lighter and the challenge was to incorporate slow motion. Their short was about a group of people who go to an Airbnb and have to survive a murderous witch. In the end, two survived, with one killing the witch and both becoming witches themselves.
The fourth short was by The General and their film was called “Masque”. Their category was splatter, their line was “I can’t see anything,” their prop was a pumpkin and their challenge was to have all static shots. The short was about a woman offering a stranger off the street a ride in her car. The stranger tells the woman where she needs to go, but the woman decides to go to a mechanic, saying her car needs to be fixed. Shortly after they arrive, the woman grabs a weapon and tries to kill the stranger. The stranger attempts to escape, but the woman succeeds in murdering the stranger by beating them to death, closing out the short.
The fifth short was by B-Fort Films and their film was called “Human.” Their category was a creature feature, the line they had to use was “Burn like hell,” their prop was a record/cd and their challenge was to include a silent character. The short takes place six months after an invasion that resulted in people killing each other, with a group of survivors as the main characters. Two of them decide to stop, with one protesting they should keep moving. They talk about how much further they have to travel to reach Georgia and to not repeat the previous night’s events when one of their members was left behind. One member is upset with another over the incident, while the other claims to have panicked and says something is out there. After that, the group gets into a fight that results in two of them dying. It ends with one member turning out to be evil, killing off his friends. There is also a mid-credits scene where the evil guy walks to a person tied up into a corner.
The sixth short was by the group John Schwartz, and their film was called “No Girl’s Toy.” Their category was survival and the line they had to use was “step up your game.” Their prop was a doll and their challenge was to incorporate VHS FX. Their short was about a woman who is cleaning someone else's house. She sees a doll on the floor and proceeds to place it on the couch, only for the doll to appear back on the floor again later. She puts the doll back, with it then revealing the other cleaning woman that works there is dead. The woman goes back to cleaning when suddenly the power goes out and then comes back on. She hears music and goes into a room with the doll, the door closes behind her and the woman ends up being murdered by the doll.
The seventh short was by Airplane Headphones and it was called “It’s kind of a scary story.” Their genre was found footage and their line was “Don’t fight it.” Their prop was a purse and their challenge was to have no characters die. Their short follows a couple playing cards with a guy who tells a scary story. It’s about a guy who finds a toe, has his mom cook it into soup with them both eating it until he is confronted by the man who’s toe he took. The girl doesn't find the story scary, so he decides to tell another story where he hears noises. She still isn’t scared so she decides to tell her own story about a paranoid woman who goes through a routine every day that ends with her hand being licked by her dog as she goes to bed. One day, it is revealed that it was not her dog licking her hand, but something else entirely. Then, the short ends with the couple playing battleship.
The eighth and final short was by 2 Ghoul 4 Skool with their film “Consumers.” Their category was zombies and their line was “Stop, let’s think about this.” Their prop was a balloon and their challenge was to incorporate voiceover. Their short was about a woman walking through a mall with her hand cut and bleeding while holding a balloon. It’s revealed through a voiceover flashback that she was going to give the balloon to her friend but when her friend sees her hand, she freaks out and the woman accidentally kills her while trying to calm her down. It then ends with the woman letting go of the balloon and turning into a zombie.
After all of the shorts were shown, there was a costume contest for all those dressed up for the screening, with the winner being a woman dressed as Nacho Libre. Then, the winners were announced, with first place going to 2 Ghoul 4 Skool’s “Consumers” and second place going to The General’s “Masque.” There was a tie for third place between John Schwartz’s “No Girl’s Toy” and Airplane Headphone’s “It’s kind of a scary story.”