Toronto is a great movie city and it loves its festivals. One festival in particular that is beloved by genre fans of the city is the monthly Little Terrors Short Film Festival. It has taken place every month since 2011 at the Carleton Cinema and this month will be showing its 51st night! It gathers genre shorts from all around the world and this month is even debuting its first compilation of shorts into a feature anthology, Minutes Past Midnight.
The anthology consists of 9 segments that are all very diverse but somehow compliment each other well. Mostly. The first segment is Never Tear Us Apart, about a couple of guys who stumble upon a very inhospitable couple living in the woods. Awake is the tale of a disturbed young boy and his parents who are having a tough time dealing with his unique issues. Crazy for You is a quick and hilarious tale of a couple trying to sort out their personal ‘quirks’ to have a successful relationship. The Mill at Calder’s End is a brilliant little puppet tale that is heavily inspired by Poe, Hammer films and Lovecraft. Quite stunning visually and a real treat. Roid Rage is the only short I didn’t care for full of toilet humor and bad jokes combined with production values that don’t come anywhere near any other segments. Feeder is one of my faves in the tale of a musician looking for a dark short cut to fame and fortune. This one has some really innovative effects and is very Twilight Zone/Tales from the Darkside inspired. Timothy is, I am sure, a favorite of audiences in the tale of a boy obsessed with a costumed rabbit from his favorite TV show. Ghost Train is another fave in the Stephen King-ish tale of three childhood friends who encounter a very strange abandoned carnival ride. This short looks like a million bucks with stunning fx. And lastly is Horrific, another redneck tale this time and a solid little comedic segment to end the anthology.
Minutes Past Midnight, while technically just a collection from the festival, ends up being one of the best horror anthologies to come along in quite some time. The production value on these is just stunning considering they are independent short films and the imagination and creativity put into them is equally impressive. And as if getting a great anthology wasn’t enough, you also get a ton of extra short films in the special features, practically a whole other anthology on its own. Little Terror’s creator Justin McConnell has really hit on something special with his festival and is now expanding that with the release of a feature anthology for those who can’t make it to the monthly event. He even has a second anthology, Galaxy of Horrors, a sci fi themed horror anthology, making the rounds on VOD now and arriving on Blu-ray and DVD in May. I hope they keep this up and continue bringing the amazing work from these filmmakers out for everyone to see. Highly recommended.