Spooky season is coming to an end, but we can celebrate its final day with some fantastic short films. From truly terrifying to body horror and everything in between, short films allow filmmakers to experiment with visuals and stories that are odd, horrifying, and sometimes very funny with an audience who appreciates what the filmmakers are doing.

We love short films here at NFS and want to celebrate some of the best horror films that we've watched in 2023. For Halloween, we created a list of our favorite horror shorts that we can watch to end the spooky season on the right foot.

Check out our list below:

Fudgie Freddie

While attending this year's BeyondFest in Los Angeles, CA to support the horror short, Ringing Rocks, I had the chance to watch a horror short that left me feeling queasy at the end of the block.

Jon Salmon's short film Fudgie Freddie follows a struggling animator starting to transform into his most popular character, an ice cream cone named Fudgie Freddie. The practical effects and use of a single character created a simple and inexpensive story to pitch Salmon's idea for a feature is something any and every filmmaker can do.

The short is currently playing at film festivals.

-- Alyssa Miller, Editor

Meat Friend

Meat Friends comes from writer/director Izzy Lee, who is a bit of a legend in the horror world for her award-winning festival shorts. After microwaving raw hamburger meat in the microwave, Billie (Marnie McKendry) makes a new buddy with the sentient Meat Friend, who imparts some really bad words of advice on the child. Her mother (Megan Duffy) tries to separate the two, but you don't just throw away friends.

Meat Friends feels like a 4 a.m. Adult Swim infomercial that crosses the line of acceptable strangeness. The puppet is cute, the pacing is strange and uncanny, and the jump cuts are jarring in the best way.

-- Alyssa Miller, Editor


GUTS from Chris McInroy on Vimeo.

I don’t get to see many shorts unless executive friends send them around. These two came to me as recs from friends and did not disappoint. I’m excited to see what these filmmakers do in the future.

GUTS writer-director Chris McInroy takes you through a toxic workplace metaphor with some gruesome horror that I think connects to all working people everywhere.

-- Jason Hellerman, Senior Copywriter


​The other short film is PORTRAIT OF A GOD. Written, edited, and directed by Dylan Clarke, this is largely a once-location, one-person short film that keeps the budget low and the scares high by using amazing sound design and storytelling to challenge religion.

-- Jason Hellerman, ​Senior Copywriter


FISHMONGER Trailer (2023) - Dir. Neil Ferron from Neil Ferron on Vimeo.

Sharing DNA with Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and Robbert Eggers’ The Lighthouse, Neil Ferron’s ferocious seaside tale is a darkly comedic body horror short that’s full of old-school cinematic techniques including miniatures, creature makeup, poor man's process shots, and practical stunts and effects. Read our interview with Ferron here.

The short is currently playing at film festivals.

-- Jourdan Aldredge, Tech Writer


Director Lael Rogers crafts a fun horror critique on influencer culture by walking us through the “day in the life” of an inane influencer whose antics quickly turn from navel-gazing to body horror.

-- Jourdan Aldredge, Tech Writer


A phone sitting in a pentagram


Courtesy of Fantasia Fest

Directed by Abby Elizabeth Falvo, *666 is a film inspired by satanic rituals and the board game, Girl Talk. Filmed part of a Super 8 contest, the film is a modern dark horror story of two women engaging in an occult ritual in order to communicate with the devil.

The short is currently playing at film festivals.

-- Jourdan Aldredge, Tech Writer