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5 things I learnt from watching Alter horror short films

In March 2021, Action On The Side ran a virtual Work Experience for Level 3 Media students. This article has been written as part of that, by Ahsan W.

For my work experience, I chose to write an article on Alter, a company that produces and screens short horror films. So I watched at least 8 horror shorts and compared them to the triple-A franchises like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street. I looked into the differences in style and saw the tropes or clichés that appear or are subverted in short horrors.

1. You don’t need a big budget to make a great horror film

The shorts I watched don't have a big budget of a million dollars or pounds, but these have a great story that doesn’t need as much funding. The stories and these shorts were great even the twists had me shocked and they can be so simple yet genius.

2. Horrors don’t have to be over 2 hours long

When I was watching the films I realised that they put you straight into the action waiting for a resolution and it is done very quickly which is why short horror films work very well as it keeps you hooked and not bored.

3. Music is very eerie

The music in the shorts Alter gets the guy twisting with those high pitch sounds and these work amazingly with the scenery and mise-en-scène of dark rooms and jumpscares.

4. You don’t need A-list actors

While I was watching the actresses and actors who performed on Alter films are outstanding and feel very real, the facial expressions give away what the characters feel and make you have empathy. Some make you feel scared of the character with a ‘dead expression’ on the face which is very haunting.

5. The classic run’n’trip

Alter short horrors did not convey the classic stereotypes of running away from the killer as he walks slowly and the victim just falls. The Alter shorts have different takes like in ‘the stand’ the killer and victim are locked into looking at each other which creates great tension instead of running away with a predictable trip.

Check out Alter on YouTube

These are the rest of the films I watched for this article...

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