I hope you look good in goosebumps as you will be covered head to toe once you see writer/director Mike Castro’s plutonium-grade horror short There’s Something in the Silence. Erin Daniels (Chelsea Camp) is on a video call with Dr. Levins (Laura Frenzer), discussing her new hearing aids. Erin asks the doctor if there is a side effect of hearing voices. Dr. Levins says that sometimes the technology can pick up conversations happening outside. Erin asks what about voices inside the house. Levins comments she thought Erin lived alone. The call is interrupted, and Dr. Levins asks if she can call Erin back. Erin sits in silence and then puts her hearing aids in. Silence. Then a voice calls her name, and she hears footsteps behind her… even though no one is there.
“…a voice calls her name, and she hears footsteps behind her… even though no one is there.”
There’s Something in the Silence is the kind of horror short that will yank your shorts down. Castro achieves maximum scares with almost no special effects, the same way Robert Wise rocked it with The Haunting. All the frights throughout the short film are engineered with camerawork and sound. The excellent sound design, by Mike J Lewis, of the eerie voices and footsteps, is horrifying. Castro’s wicked awesome cinematography matches the sound with clever angles and visual compositions. There is a fantastic fright wig moment that begins when Erin hears nothing when putting in the hearing aids. Then the camera pans over to the side abruptly once the voices start. It is an excellent effect. The result was goosebumps on my arms not once, not twice, but three times during the film’s seven-minute running time.
Castro builds the mood perfectly with natural lighting during the video call, then gets more stylized as the horror show ramps up. This sense of normalcy is crucial to establish as it can then ripple and be torn apart by the cascading dread. Camp’s amazing performance heightens the fear as she projects being completely terrified. There’s Something in the Silence is an expertly crafted horror short by a filmmaker with potent instincts. Go watch it, just be prepared to jump out of your skin.
"…an expertly crafted horror short by a filmmaker with potent instincts."