Every Halloween, I always feel bad for the 14, 15 and 16 year-olds out there who are right in that in-between Halloween stage. You're too old to go trick-or-treating (unless you're a girl and have a younger sibling to parade around the neighborhood), and you're too young to start invading the Halloween party circuit. Ahh, the glorious Halloween party circuit -- where every costume has the word 'sexy' added to it. I asked my 19 year-old sister what she was wearing to her Halloween parties, and she told me she was dressing up as a pharmacist. I twisted my head a bit in confusion, until she revealed that she was going as a "sexy pharmacist." Unfortunately, guys really don't have the option of dressing up as a sexy garbage man, but I digress.

If you're under 14, then Halloween is the greatest holiday in the history of holidays (okay, not counting those free presents you get from Santa on Christmas). Not only do you get to dress up as your favorite character (with mom and dad's approval), but people actually give you free candy ... and lots of it. And all you have to say is "trick or treat." That's it. (And people wonder whether or not heaven really exists -- c'mon, when you're a kid, heaven is Halloween.) However, for us grown-ups who have to work today and are having a hard time getting into the spirit of things, I've assembled a few spooky shorts for you to watch during one of those many 15-minute breaks the boss doesn't know about.

As always, if you should stumble upon a cool short film you feel would be perfect for Eat My Shorts, please send all links, tips and suggestions (trust me, I love hearing from all of you) to shorts AT cinematical DOT com. Yes, it's that simple. Happy dress up and eat candy day folks! Let's go watch some shorts ...

There's no particular theme or pattern regarding the following short films, except that they're all somewhat spooky and Halloween related. I tried to find a healthy mix of comedy, horror and family fare in the hopes there would be a little something for everyone. See, I'm good like that. After watching them all, please let me know which one you liked the best -- I'm just dying to know. Har har ... okay, I'll shut up now.

  • A Scare to Remember -- Directed by Eric Ehemann, this short is extremely well made and definitely fun to watch. Perhaps the most memorable line is, "You have such beautiful eyes." Seems a bit weird right now, but in the context of the short, it's bloody brilliant. Story revolves around an extremely ugly man whose looks prevent him from living an ordinary life. Upon stumbling into a seedy bar one night, he finally meets someone like him ... and it's a girl. Could the ugliest man on the planet somehow find the love of his life?
  • Saw: The Original Short Film by James Wan -- With the release of Saw III this past weekend, I figured why not travel back to where it all began. As most young filmmakers do, before there were any studios or talent attached to the first Saw film, director James Wan put together a 10-minute short based on his full-length script. This short was designed to drum up interest in the project. Needless to say, we all know what happened next. The actual short features a man who is kidnapped from work, thrown in a room and strapped into a chair with a large bear trap locked on his head. This same scene was re-created in the first Saw film, except a female (Shawnee Smith) was placed into the role instead of a male.
  • The House on Dame Street -- Not too long ago, I featured Ruairi Robinson's Academy Award nominated short film Fifty Percent Grey on Eat My Shorts. Well now, I'm throwing up the short he made prior to that -- a spooky animated treat called The House on Dame Street. It's sort of difficult to explain what this short is about, so here is the iFilm description: "In a world of pure chaos and pure evil, the secret of eternal life has just been found. (But be warned, it's pretty gross when you have no skin!)" This dude is definitely someone to keep an eye on, I totally dig his style.
  • Husky -- Ahh, are you one of those kids who have trouble finding the perfect Halloween costume because you're, um, a bit too overweight? Well, Husky is the perfect short for you, as it revolves around a kid whose one wish is to dress up as his favorite superhero, The Intimidator, in a costume that actually fits him. When mom finds a store that carries such a costume, all that stands between him and his wish is a cocky costume salesman with a God complex. Very cute short, and one that definitely relates to the big boy in all of us.
  • Fulfilled: A Halloween Story -- Instead of going out with friends on Halloween, Wayne Fitzsimmons would rather spend time alone in his workshop doing what he likes to do best -- creating weird and disturbing creatures. In fact, Wayne's one wish is that every night would be Halloween. However, he should be careful about making wishes out loud, because one of his fake creatures might just make it come true. Jeepers!

On top of the short films I just told you about, there's also this cool website I found called Urban Chillers. There, you can watch a slew of creepy short films in different formats, ranging from 60 seconds to three minutes long. They also have a section called The CCTV files which are supposedly real-life nightmares caught on tape. You can also interact with fellow gore hounds, view photographic evidence of ghosts and vote for your favorite horror movies. Seriously, check it out -- I spent about an hour on there myself.

That about wraps it up for me. Once again, please send all links, tips and suggestions regarding Eat My Shorts to shorts AT cinematical DOT com. If you're out on the town tonight, keep safe and don't venture down any dark alleys. After all, you never know what's waiting for you around the bend.

Happy Halloween!