If you’ve never read “They’re Made Out of Meat” by Terry Bisson, you’ve been living an incorrect life that you should no longer maintain[*].
[*] see ref.
… I think he’ll go far.
I’ve complained in the past that these super-short horror films almost invariably go for the gross-out or the jump scare, and that’s cheap. This lil film does something different and, in its brevity, is almost a haiku-like essay about body image and media. Recommended:
I dunno; I just do. There’s something about it that makes it, in many ways, a more complete and superior horror story than any of the like-length CryptTV videos on YouTube. I think the principal problem is that when a “horror film” goes below ~3mins, the filmmakers almost invariably seem to decide that all they can possibly do in that time is craft a jump scare. As such, the piece is inherently callous (if not outright cruel) to the viewer. It’s bullying art, art that has decided it needs (or should, or is right) to inflict itself on you. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like art that confronts you with unpleasant realities—in fact, I sorta like that art best of all—but I want for us to go to that place together (both as a person making art and a person consuming it).
But then we have something like this—or like the weird, wonderful [Adult Swim] videos I’ve linked in the past. Because these things don’t think of themselves as horror, I feel like they’re more open to creating a more nuanced kind of horror, even in a much more compressed chunk of time.
The horror in this SNL skit is in what it implies about the universe that this family lives in, all the stuff that’s outside the frame (including that escaped almost-pizza beast). And part of what makes that horror is the fact that the world we actually really live in—this world, where I am sitting and tying and you are sitting and reading—is outside that frame too, and thus is sharing space with the horrifying reality that put these characters in that room with that awful thing (brought to you by Pfizer™).
A lot of the short films Dust releases are 75% solid, then fall apart at the untangle/resolution (often by not having one at all: they have a terrific Setup, then a nice Tangle, then roll credits—grrrrrrrr). But this one holds up nicely. Give it a watch: