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Panic Fest 2023 Short Films Block #1 Short Films

Film Review: Moonlight Sonata, With Scissors Festival Cut

Starring Hailey Swartwout and Troy Halverson Written and Directed by Chris Ethridge Produced by Dayna Noffke Based on the Short Story by Darrell Z. Grizzle


What a surprise, she wakes up at 3:00am. Zee (Hailey Swartwout) is woken up by Corey (Troy Halverson). Corey has a problem. Well, a dead body type of problem, and he’s on probation. Don’t people think? I mean… come on. Chris Ethridge directed and wrote the screenplay with Darrell Z. Grizzle (based on a story by).

I take it Zee has done this before. She knows what she’s doing. Hailey Swartwout is great in this role. Zee is having a nightmare or she’s lucid dreaming? Lucid dreaming is touchy. I love “Moonlight Sonata.” It’s perfection. I’m fascinated that they picked it for the short film. It was a great film, and an excellent cast.


Film Review: High Stakes (Short Film)  

Synopsis: Zachary Eglinton wrote and directed this fun film. He believes his friend is a vampire, and well it doesn’t go as planned.

Film Review: Wolf Whistle (Short Film)

Jen Handorf wrote and directed Wolf Whistle. The film opens with a young girl is out walking, and starts to hear whistling. This is some weird shit.

Film Review: HIMS (Short Film)  

HIMS was written and directed by Krsy Fox. The film opens with Krsy and her daughter. Krsy shared that is her and Spider-One’s daughter in the movie. It was an honor to talk to both of them for Panic Fest 2023. Her daughter talks about HIMS. HIMS could be an imaginary friend or something creepier. I remember being a kid and watching scary movies, and thinking I didn’t have to worry about the monsters in the movies because some people were truly monsters. I remember thinking my mom could and would tackle any monster. This story is beautiful.

It shows what parents go through, what mom’s go through, and the torment that can lurk in the dark. It’s also a truly fun, on the edge of your seat short film that I would have loved to be longer. Krsy Fox did an amazing job with this story. It runs fifteen minutes but still, it would be an awesome feature film.

Film Review: That’s Our Time (Short Film)


Danny is unable to make connections with the people in his life. Now his sympathetic therapist tries to help him realize that it’s more important to focus on the time you have left than the time you’ve already spent.

Directed by Alex Backes Written by Alex Backes and Josh Callahan Marque Richardson as Danny Debra Wilson as Dr. Miller Produced by: Taylor Craig, Stephen Ellis Executive Producers: Marque Richardson, Sara Amini, Mark Backes, Tanner Boyajian, Josh Callahan


This short film is absolutely bothersome. The watch ticking was so stressful but it made the point. This movie made an impact. When you go to therapy sometimes, you feel like they don’t care. You walk in and as soon as you sit down, they start clocking the time like a lawyer.

Film Review: Alie Nation (Short Film)


A family of immigrants is chased through the woods by border patrol. But they’re not alone.


Directed by Ray Raghavan and written by Nick Purrier and Ray Raghavan. This short film is thirteen minutes and fifty-four minutes. Maria (Maria Frazer) is in the middle of the woods, and looking for her mom, Gabriella (Margarita Iturriaga). They are trying to escape customs. This is sad, the world we live in is just horrible. Something shows up, and it’s wild. The special effects, and this element of this film is incredible. The special effects are amazing. They did such a great job with this movie.

Film Review: The Trunk (Short Film)


A father and daughter find a chained up old chest hidden in the woods. They bring it home with plans to sell its contents, but quickly discover that what’s inside was locked up for a reason.


Directed and written by Travis Laidlaw, The Trunk is such a creepy, unique short.

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