When Janine returns home from an evening jog she realizes something is different about her boyfriend in this darkly comedic homage to horror classics.
A selection of Short of the Week, the web’s leading curators of quality short films.
d u d e c r e e p s
Directed by Dylan Hamilton-Smith
“There are many reasons to love horror movies and Dylan Hamilton-Smith’s Dudecreeps somehow illustrates most of them. Written by Hamilton-Smith and his producing partner, Matthew Manville, Dudecreeps is a darkly comedic film that pays homage to horror classics, while cleverly providing a commentary on the very nature of the genre. A two-chapter saga of one night’s events, this witty exploration of how differently men and women may perceive reality could change the way you view the world, or at the very least, dating.
Hamilton-Smith held nothing back when turning the original feature script for Dudecreeps into a borderline ridiculous short film and it’s slick production values are eye candy for those of us who are hungry for spooky content year-round. From a creepy neighbor, to an ominous shower, and even a lightning storm, frankly, it’s incredible just how many horror tropes Hamilton-Smith was able to squeeze into its 20-minute duration. A short that manages to both pay respect to, and poke fun at, all things horror, with every camera push-in and use of smoky hazer, it’s clear just how much fun Dudecreeps was to make.
Hamilton-Smith’s attention to detail is borderline obsessive and it’s clear just how much he and his writing partner, Manville, paid attention to their favorite horror movies in constructing this film. In some ways, their meticulous approach to craft is reminiscent of another S/W pick, Ben and Adam Callner’s Adman – a short which showcased just how deeply the directors understood the commercial medium they were critiquing. Like with Adman, Hamilton-Smith uses his deep knowledge of the horror space to subvert expectations and explore more complicated themes, all within a sophisticated two-chapter story structure.
“For both the feature and the short [script] we ended up completing there were a lot of inspirations from Halloween to the Halloween-inspired It Follows with some classic Italian horror thrown in for good measure,” Hamilton-Smith reveals to Short of the Week. “I have a deep love of Italian ‘Giallo’, or ‘yellow’ films (named such for the cheap paperback books that inspired many of the genre’s wild storylines), and I’m specifically drawn to the works of Mario Bava.”
For those of you unfamiliar with “The Master of Italian Horror”, Bava’s films were known for their rich visuals, scares, and how, at times, they could be unintentionally funny. In the same vein, Dudecreeps nails the dark comedy bucket. “It’s also hard not to be inspired by Scream when making a horror film that goes out of its way to hit a lot of the classic tropes in the first half, setting up the subversion that drove the ‘creepy dude’ core of Dudecreeps.”
The storyline, an ambitious exploration of how two people perceive an event, gave Hamilton-Smith the opportunity to exploit filmmaking’s ability to change how people feel about what they are seeing. “The idea of two different perspectives of the same weird night was incredibly fascinating to me because I wanted to make two different kinds of film,” explains Hamilton-Smith. By breaking the story into two chapters, one version in Janine’s perspective and the other in Nathan’s, Hamilton-Smith was able to try two different extremes in terms of filmmaking styles, helping the audience to bridge the gap between the two narratives themselves.”
– S/W Curator Chelsea Lupkin
Nathan – Nathan Hollis
Janine – Barbie Robertson
Dudecreeps – Fergus Keating
1st Assisant Director – Will Thomas
2nd Assistant Director – Scotty Leonard
Director of Photography – Nathaniel Regier
1st AC – Asher Strauch
Sound Mixer – Paul Thompson
Boom Operator – Brett Waserman
Gaffer – Gabriel Esling
G&E Swing – Brendan Boyle
G&E Swing – Nick Sanchez
Best Boy Electric – Kyle Sherling
G&E Swing – Derek Conkins
Production Designer – Darius Hamilton-Smith
Art Director – Savannah Huerta-Bailey
Key Makeup – Emma Buerkle
Costume Designer – Mariah Romero
VFX – Marshall Lemming
Post Sound – Matthew Sisson
Reproduced on this channel with the permission of the filmmakers.