Late Night Local (2014) – By Philip Smolen

A drunk girl (Jennifer Harder) stumbles and shuffles her way late at night to a New York subway station. She is helped by a Good Samaritan (Christopher Yustin). But on the train heading into Queens a creepy looking rider (Patrick Shearer) takes an unhealthy interest in her. When the girl gets off the train, the creep gets up and follows her. Concerned, the Good Samaritan follows, and when he catches up with her, he’s relieved to find that she’s ok. But something just doesn’t feel right and in the next few minutes, both the girl and the Samaritan will get the shock of their lives.

“Late Night Local” is a sensational 16 minute horror short from Jessi Gotta and Patrick Shearer, the creators of the fabulous “They Will Outlive Us All” (2013). The film is wickedly inspired and really plays with your expectations. Gotta and Shearer use a typical dramatic situation and slowly turn it around and around until you’re not sure what’s going to happen next. They create true suspense and apprehension, which is difficult to do in a short film.

The film pulls off two great shocks and one of them comes out of nowhere. I literally jumped out of my chair when the second shock occurred and was caught totally off guard. I can count on one hand how many times a movie has been able to do that to me!

The cast is marvelous and the photography captures the late night grittiness of New York City perfectly. If you’re in the mood for a great down and dirty horror short, look no further than “Late Night Local.” It accomplishes in 16 minutes what many feature length horror films can’t do in 90.

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