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‘Bear’ a well-crafted short on Fearnet On Demand

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Roanoke Cox Cable’s Fearnet On DEMAND is currently offering five short horror films. Ranging from three to nearly twenty minutes they they exhibit the good, the bad and the ugly. They present tales of the apocalypse, the supernatural, the psychotic and the unfortunate. Two of them are very much worth a look.

The best of the lot is “Bear.” This 11 minute offering from 2011 exhibits some truly clever artistry and is a must-see for anyone interested in movies. Writer-director Nash Edgerton also stars as a seemingly real jerk named Jack. When his girlfriend (Teresa Palmer, the star of "Warm Bodies") storms off on her bike after he swipes her breakfast toast, Jack grabs a box and races out in his car. You’ll never see what’s coming but won’t forget what happens in this surprising example of the power of visual storytelling.

Also worth a look is “The Banishing.” This 12 minute short from 2013 serves up a creepy ghost story that does a lot with little. Danielle Kotch, who appeared in “Sinister,” stars as Jessa, a little girl who claims the bad incidents that surround her are perpetrated by an evil spirit. When mom (Alicia Harding) goes out for the evening, Jessa’s sister (Haley Kotch) tries to banish the spirits. The result is horrifying.

“Sleep Walk” is a three minute earnestly animated black-and-white doomsday downer from 2013 featuring a final stark act of human compassion. The 2011 Australian short “Reception” is too darkly photographed to clearly make out. It sees a teenage girl investigate a room complaint and find stuffed toys, blood and a vague ending. “Angst, Piss & Drid” is a long, slow paced 19 minutes of graphic violence and grossness leading to a shock ending. This 2012 Norwegian would-be serial killer black comedy is a bloody mess that’s simply too sickening to find humor in.