This Is Not A Horror Film.

In January 2014 the radio program Studio 360 announced a contest: make and submit a 30-second horror film. I love short films (not to mention short stories, short plays, short-sheeting, and Short People, but that’s another story) so I jumped on the idea and immediately wrote a script that was…weird. I didn’t intend to write a traditional horror film but instead wanted to offer something that was a little weird, a little unnerving, and that might require some thought.

I passed the script to a friend who passed it to a friend, a young director named Donny Black whom I really hope to see a lot more of in the future. He liked the idea and filmed it. I hope you like it too.

In retrospect I also wish I’d called it The Heroine’s Revenge.

Below is his one minute version of a more traditional film. It’s dark and hilarious, but also creepy so consider yourself warned.


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  1. Gina W.

    Tolstoy would NOT be happy to find out that his book had been used in such a manner. I feel required to tell someone that.

    Man, this was a dark bit of work. I’ll forever think differently about librarians. And I’ll start looking for bombs in all my books. Thanks for adding more insane worries to my brain Christopher!

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Tolstoy may not have approved but would Anna Karenina?
      And when you’ve worked with librarians as long as I have these kinds of thoughts seem perfectly normal.

  2. Margot

    I’ve changed my mind. After watching these two shorts and reading your comment on Gina’s blog where you were able to connect Hitler to Sylvia Plath via poetry, I no longer want to spend an hour in your brain. Now it’s ten minutes max, with the proviso that I get to jump to another thought if the one I’m on is too creepy. I’ll stay out of Donny Black’s brain all together.

    What do you mean that yours is not a horror film? And why is the second one hilarious? Is it because the teacher is giving F’s?

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It might be of some comfort to know that even in ten minutes you’re more than likely to land on a thought about aardvarks. If I ever need a laugh I think about aardvarks because they’re the funniest animals in the world. So it’s not all dark weirdness.
      I didn’t think of mine as a horror film in the traditional sense–it doesn’t have a monster or serial killer going after people. The guy doesn’t feel menaced. It’s all in the final shock.
      And, yes, the second one is hilarious because the teacher is giving F’s. And has a huge “Dawn Of The Dead” poster on his wall. He should’ve been better prepared for a zombie attack.

  3. Chuck Baudelaire

    Love affair gone bad? Librarian gone psycho? Random act of book defacing? You raise more than enough questions for a sequel. Get on that shit.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I always like to keep the audience guessing and wanting more, but I guess this one really does deserve a sequel. Actually I think it should be a trilogy, or maybe like the “Saw” movies which, last I checked, were up to their twenty-seventh installment. They’ve reached the point that the characters are killing each other with My Little Ponies now.

  4. Ann Koplow

    There’s a lot of creepy stuff going on here, Chris, in a very short time. I’m glad I stopped going to the library and to school.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Turning people away from the library is an unintended consequence. I hope you’ll go back to the library. Most librarians really are nice, so your chances of being blown up by a Russian novel are quite small.


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