McNeil Minute Reviews | Haunts

A Get It Made LA Horror Short Production

Haunts is a dark, contained horror short and another production from Matt Boda and his Get It Made production team. This high concept short is not only well done but has a premise which is unique and out of anything impressed me the most. Of course, the production and acting all work in tandem here, but I was profoundly astonished by the premise and the execution of it. This is yet another project, if a proof of concept, will work exceptionally well as a feature given the premise and the world that is built here. Moving beyond surface level, let's dive beneath the iceberg and find out why this works so well.

The Simplicity

This might seem strange that this would be what I consider to be the strongest aspect of the film: just how simple it is? I don't mean this in the way you think. Merely saying something is simple does not mean that it is not complex. The premise is a bit complex, when you boil it down. But, the simplicity of the film is what makes it so effective for me. Once again, the film is contained and we're entirely focused on one location, but two separate rooms. At first, we're in a basement and a woman is trying to gain her bearings. We come to figure out that she is indeed dead and other dead spirits share her plight. We come to figure out (spoiler alert) that a man has a separate house from his family and social lives where he murders women and keeps them there. These women all come together so that they can haunt the man as he tries to cover up his treacherous acts. Again, simple but oh so effective.

The Premise

Again, this may be tied to the first aspect of the film, but the premise is really what drew me into it. I loved how the entire short was in the basement and then we drifted up to the main floor for the haunting. We are trying to gain our bearings just as the protagonist is, as well. We share in her confusion and in her loss, lamenting, and dread. Once we figure out exactly what's going on, we have an aha! moment just like her and we are left to wonder what's next. Give me a film that leads me on a mysterious journey, and I'm yours. I also loved the execution of this profoundly intriguing premise, which brings me to my next point.

The Execution

The execution of this very intriguing premise is pristine, given the budget. I was immensely impressed with the production value once again, thanks to the team at Get It Made, led by Matt Boda. The writing, directing, acting, cinematography, and effects, practical or otherwise, on display here are tremendous and exemplary. I also loved the simplicity of the production design which gave it a genuine authenticity, which I will always appreciate in any production, regardless of genre. What works here so well is that the heightened realism and the supernatural both coexist exquisitely. Additionally, the world feels lived in and once again sets up a world which I would want to explore even further. I do hope that this is a project which will be lifted off the ground as a feature, as well.

The Verdict

Haunts is a very solid low budget contained horror short produced by the high quality production team at Get it Made. Bolstered by great writing, performances, direction, and overall production value, Haunts succeeds as a set up for building a world to be expanded upon and as a standalone short horror/drama story as well. Its simplicity as well as its profoundly interesting premise both reel the audience in and both compel and excite. The execution of the film only adds to its wonderful success existing on its own and as a teaser for the possibility of a world to come.


Rating: Great


Haunts is a Get it Made production and is available on their website and the screenplay is available to read. The short film is also available on YouTube and can be found here.

Rob McNeil

My name is Rob McNeil. I was born and raised in Normal, Illinois and I am a 28 year-old award winning screenwriter. I am very passionate about film, so much that I watch far too many films on a daily basis. I have written fifteen feature screenplays, a spec pilot thriller series, and several short scripts. I aim to make filmmaking a career, but for now, I will write about it.

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