At just three minutes long, DANIEL – the latest horror short from the deliciously dark minds at Dream Seekers Productions – clocks in a little shorter than past productions Beast and Little Reaper, but induces from the outset such a chilling sense of dread that brands it more than tantamount to feature length horrors.
Watch it here:
With a deceptively simple yet very effective premise, the short opens to an alarming scene of nocturnal abduction. Two menacing, brutish figures feverishly search the suburban home for their final victim; the titular young Daniel. With his parents already at the ‘mercy’ of the invaders, Daniel can’t stay concealed for long, and danger is closer than you’d think.
The saying goes that blood is thicker than water, and so it goes for brother and sister duo Peter and Aubrey Dukes, the visionaries behind a host of horror shorts films. Having dabbled in ‘horredy’ in their last outing, in DANIEL, the pair take on a fast-fuelled and instantly gripping approach, from the first frame to the maddeningly sudden cliff-hanger of an ending. DANIEL is a short you’d wish was less, well, short!
Long-time collaborator Giona Ostinelli’s score is beautifully symbiotic; the ominous opening bars being immediately genre indicative; the screeching notes becoming increasingly maniacal as the assailant nears Daniel, and the goal of the invasion revealed. This knuckle-whitening score, paired with the frantic visuals – including a sudden burst of hand-held horror-esque first-person perspective camera angle- is fantastically immersive considering the incredibly short running time.
The very definition of short and sweet – as all kids are sweet, right? – DANIEL is most definitely worth watching, even if it is through your fingers. With a refreshing perspective and horror sub-
genre twist, Peter Dukes has created a delightfully macabre short here, and is mostly definitely a director to keep a close eye on in the future.