If Velvet Buzzsaw’s trailer got you excited for Netflix’s art gallery haunted house movie, then this week’s Horror Short Sunday pick Downstairs (2015) should be just what the art lover ordered. The film is directed by Lee Boxleitner, which he also co-wrote with Sam Boxleitner. The Boxleitners also star in the film alongside John Lyke, Phoebe Neidhardt, Caitlin Reilly, and Andrea Steele.
Here is a description:
It looks to be another dull night for new security guard Flip Schubbers, who is bravely manning the front desk of a quiet art gallery. Unfortunately, a couple pretentious art snobs aren’t the scariest thing he’ll have to deal with tonight. A cryptic note was left on his computer warning him not to go downstairs. But when Flip begins to detect strange noises and a putrid smell coming from the dark basement, he’s forced to investigate.
Downstairs is a fun horror/comedy with snarky humor that doesn’t overpower the scares. Lyke and Neidhardt play the part of the obnoxious art snobs beautifully, with their smug tone and fake smiles. Sam Boxleitner counters their performance as everyman Flip Schubbers, who clearly doesn’t get paid enough to put up with primadonnas or malevolent spirits.
Downstairs is a haunted house film through and through. The fact that it takes place in the bowels of an art gallery may be incidental since the supernatural aspect doesn’t appear to be tied to the artwork like in Velvet Buzzsaw, but it’s no less entertaining for it.
Spooky, pallid makeup by Andrea Steele (who also plays one of the spirits) holds up very well during spine-tingling close-ups. The ghostly moans and eerie soundtrack provide a nice creepy atmosphere, with Flip’s freaked-out reactions being comically relatable. Check out the full short film for Downstairs below!
Take a look at our other Horror Short Sunday picks, and, as always, join us next week to discover more fantastic short films!