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HollyShorts 2020: Thriller Block – Film Reviews

This year’s HollyShorts film festival is massive, with over four hundred entries. In a time when the pandemic is preventing in-person film viewings, the digital festival has something to offer all moviegoers. This year’s Thriller block is full of suspense, drama, and plenty of incredible films from all over the globe. As with all of my coverage of the festival, my personal favorites of this block will be listed first, with the others listed bleow. Every film here is worth a look, but my personal favorites really spoke to me in one way or another.

Dir. Dennis Williams II
Denzel Whitaker, Valence Thomas, Cherie Danielle

A group of Southern college students begin to gain a following as they crash East Coast musical festivals as a way of promoting their record label. This is a great story of hustle and dedication, even against some major odds. It’s a lesson in following your dreams, but working to make them come true.

David French Is a Piece of Sh*t and I Want Him Dead
Dir. Mark Van Heusden
Starring Jonathan Oldfield, John Corbyn, Charles Allan-Hodson, Lee West

Bad Penny are on their first headlining tour, except that their opening act is getting all the adoration. With their lead singer in a funk, brothers and bandmates Dean and Anthony come up with a plan to inspire their lead singer and get the band back on the right track. This one was really fun. It was a thriller in a goofy way, injecting a lot of humor into something serious.

Red Light Green Light
Dir. Joseph Martinez, Will Martinez
Starring Todd Denson, Gina Bishop

When a man encounters a monster that can only move when he’s looking away, he plays a dangerous game in an attempt to survive. This takes a simple premise and turns it into something very fun, leaving viewers on a bit of a cliffhanger that is really enjoyable.

Dir. Neils Bourgonje
Starring Jefferson White, Ebony Obsidian

Despite not wanting to match with him, a woman finds herself connected to a stranger on a dating app. With the match coming just moments after her denial, she fears that whoever this stranger is may be closer than she’d like. While very short, this is a thrilling look into the lives of people who use dating apps, only to find some unsavory people on their journey for love. Really captivating the whole way through.

Also in this block of terrific films:

Bury Me Not
Dir. Charlene Bagcal
Starring Ellie Arazia,  Desean Terry, Jul Kohler

When a strange circumstance takes place in the Old West, two women are questioned about what really took place. Their answers seem to only provoke more questions as the mystery unfolds.

I’ll End Up In Jail
Dir. Alexandre Dostle
Starring Martine Franke, Jospeh Delorey, Stephane F. Jaques

A woman gets into a car crash that turns ugly, with no one wanting to take the blame for what happened.

Dir. Nathan Tape
Starring Peyton Wich, David Jensen

In the ’70s of the Deep South, a father and his estranged son are reunited, despite the son having no interest in doing so.

Dir. Katia Shannon
Starring Victoria Diamond, Marc-Antione Kelertas, Mark Anothony Krupa

A traffic gridlock becomes a fight to survive for a woman whose body comes to a screeching halt thanks to an ailment.

Dir. Louis Norton Selzer
Starring Jordan A. Nash, David Schaal

In order to find his missing brother, a young boy must venture into a notorious fast food place alone.

Dir. Michael Leonard, Jamie Helmer
Starring Nicholas Denton, John Brumpton, Kaarin Fairfax

A young man with dark, growing impulses is given focused attention from his father in an attempt to protect others from his ever-more-dangerous son.

This was a fantastic block of films, and each one brings something unique and entertaining to the table. If any of these films are of interest, all entries to the film festival can be found at the HollyShorts website.


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