If you’re like me, then lately you’ve been starved for good, original horror content, whether in theaters, on TV or on the web. There’s just nothing scary out there anymore (though I have yet to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua). Like Showtime’s Masters of Horror and NBC’s Fear Itself, Fewdio’s Nightmare House is a weekly web series of standalone scary stories rather than a continuing narrative. Running between two and ten minutes each, Nightmare House’s sole purpose seems to be to make audiences soil themselves (no comment as to the current dryness of my own Fruit of the Looms).
Consisting of writer/directors Drew Daywalt and David Schneider (Stark Raving Mad), and actors John Crye (The Prestige), Paul Hungerford (Las Vegas) and Kirk Woller (Flags of Our Fathers), Fewdio’s Nightmare House strives to bring audiences original and scary horror content around the idea that each story has to showcase something that actually terrifies each filmmaker.
There are currently nine shorts available, with a reported eleven more to follow, on Fewdio and on their YouTube channel with new shorts posted every Wednesday. The films are simple and to the point, with shocking punchlines that are effective whether you see them coming or not. Featuring decent production values and some nifty makeup FX, Nightmare House is one of the better web shows I’ve seen. The majority of the episodes manage to do more in two minutes than most recent horror films — by the way, the filmmakers of Mirrors and The Happening owe me $14 each.
The best of the bunch are those that prey on universal fears; things everyone has experienced in some fashion like driving home alone on a dark road (“Creep” ), or a frightened child waking up her parent in the middle of the night (“The Easter Bunny Is Eating My Candy”). My personal favorite is “Breach,” where a man is continuously harassed by his burglar alarm going off, only to find there’s no one setting it off. Some nifty camera work, plenty of suspense and a startling ending makes “Breach” a perfect example of the Fewdio boys’ achievements.
The short films will also be making the rounds on the big screen, several of them will be screening this month at horror festivals including Toronto’s After Dark Festival, Austin’s Fantastic Fest and LA’s Screamfest.