Stand By Chris K. DanielsShort Film Review

Released in 2018, ‘Stand’ is a short horror film that is written, directed and produced by Chris K. Daniels. True to its title, the film is based on a man who is trapped inside an abandoned underground parking garage. Here, he can only stand to save his life. The eight-minute-long movie focuses mostly close-up on the main character played by Kinson Theodoris. And the creature that is trying to take his life, played by Sunheng Tain. The film has won several awards including the Best Student Film at Sanford International Film Festival 2019 and the Best Horror Film at International Shorts 2019.

The short film begins with the camera focusing on the feet of a man who is limping around and is clearly too tired to walk. He expresses his fatigue and tiredness by stretching and pressing his arms and legs in that empty garage. Also, he is on the verge of losing consciousness as he blinks his eyes constantly. Then, he forcefully stops himself from falling asleep and pushes the sleep and fatigue away by slapping his face. One wonders why he simply does not sit somewhere to relax for a bit. And among this confusion we hear a harrowing, hissing sound that whispers ‘sit’. The man resists and persists on standing even though he is visibly in a lot of pain.

The camera shifts from him to a horrifying creature standing outside a grilled window of the garage. His face is too scary to even look at and as the camera zooms in to give a better view, you might find yourself watching it from behind your fingers or a from the edges of a popcorn box. The man’s struggle to stay awake and standing continues until he cannot take it anymore and sits down against a pole. It is at this moment the audience can finally understand why he insisted on standing despite his aching body in the first place. As soon as he closes his eyes, the creature moves into the garage and moves towards the man.

His survival depends on standing up or else, the monstrous creature would come and devour him the second he gives up. This horrifying and painful struggle continues for a long time. But eventually, the man runs out of energy and willpower to fight the urge to sit. He announces his surrender and now it is finally time for the creature to move in and take him. The scenes that follow are a common man’s worst nightmare. The monster keeps changing places and appears at the spots the man has turned his back against while looking out for him.

The inevitable happens. The creature jumps a the man, and all is lost. But does it end just like that? Nope! A plot-twist awaits you towards the end, although the destiny of the man might remain the same. It leaves you with a cliff-hanger. But this award-winning short film is sure to knock some air out of you, perhaps multiple times during the film.

This has been Stand by Chris K. Daniels