8 Terrifying Short Films You Can Watch Right This Second

Whether it’s foreboding, visceral or disturbing, quality horror cinema isn’t quite like anything else. The short horror format has exploded in recent years opening up opportunities for simple snippets of pure terror. In the spirit of the season, here are a handful of terrifying short films you can watch right now.

‘Lights Out’

There’s a reason the Internet has been abuzz about Swedish filmmaker, David F. Sandberg and writer Lotta Losten’s (winners of 2013’s Who’s There film challenge) Lights Out; it isn’t just scary, it’s very scary almost instantly. And it’s addictive.

What will happen the next time you shut the lights out at bedtime?

Length: ~3 minutes. Watch it now.


This black-and-white, documentary-style film looks at the lives of two serial killers who run amok, murdering with a reckless freedom and disturbing sense of duty not often seen in the genre. And interestingly enough, it was directed by Shia LaBeouf.

Length: ~10 minutes. Watch it now.


“Have you ever wanted anything so much that nothing would stop you from trying to achieve it?”

ABE is a robot with cold, glowing eyes and even-keeled demeanor who tries to fulfill his longing for a companion. Incredible visual effects, an excellent script and a deep sense of dread make ABE a must-watch, despite its sci-fi leanings giving it a different tone than most Halloween-esque horror.

Length: ~8 minutes. Watch it now.


Mama is exciting in a way that most horror isn’t, and features paralyzing visuals of the terrifying ghoul herself. It’s not hard to see why upon discovery by Guillermo del Toro was inspired to enrich the mythology of Mama, and create a full-length film that pays tribute to the twisted, grotesque visage introduced in this short.

Whatever you do, don’t look at Mama.

Length: ~3 minutes. Watch it now.

‘Vienna Waits For You’

This is about a twenty-something Austrian girl who falls in love with an apartment and finds out the answer to the question, What if your apartment loved you back? Vienna isn’t your typical horror; it has dramatic thriller elements and just a hint of comedy as well. But its visual effects, makeup, acting and storyline make its extended-length (for a short) well worth an uninterrupted viewing. Just avert your eyes if you’re squeamish about seeing open wounds in stunning detail.

Length: ~26 minutes. Watch it now.


In LOT254, a camera enthusiast repairs a vintage specimen, and unlocks the terror within. Simple enough, but a brilliantly-designed set, finely-tuned lighting, outstanding visual effects and a killer soundtrack make it a must-watch.

Length: ~3 minutes. Watch it now.

‘The Cat With Hands’

This is the creepy, rhyming story of a cat who just wants to be human. The tale is ominous enough as is, but the inclusion of clay-animation adds an element of unease singular among the horror genre.

WARNING: you may not enjoy the company of cats after seeing this.

Length: ~4 minutes. Watch it now.


You can’t get much more basic when it comes to the horror genre than the home intruder, but Bedfellows exceeds so thoroughly because it burns an image into your brain that it may never heal from – and all within two minutes.

Length: ~2 minutes. Watch it now.

Got any other suggestions? Let us know.