Dark Crypt Awards



Winner: Upstairs by Philip Trow 

“Bold, stylish, engaging – and above all – almost tuned to perfection. The performances are like dances, the music and the content is just spot on. It is a short that you just shouldn’t miss!”

Nominees: I Want To Play by Julian Lippke – “Dark and reminiscent of the J-Horror Pulse… there’s an eerie sense of the digital world being a threat and it is great fun.”, Essential Worker by Piers Owen MacKenzie – “Few entries blast so much dust off of the pile… this is a fresh film with a seriously fun delivery.”, Maunsell Road by Bertrand Remaut – “A delicious film made with a great sense of care and style.”, Hangnail by George Lowe – “Hardly a bad turn is made in this… a solid short film from start ’till end… and that is really rare, especially on a dinner date.”


Nekkiler 2 by ショーンクロサワ・セウクロサワ – Nominated: Best Editing – “The film’s style is very unique, and especially so with its special editing trickery.” 

Reclamation by Trevor Hagen – Nominated: Best Cinematography, Best Editing – “The film’s construction is its main selling point… it is a slick exercise in visual storytelling.” 

Hum in Harmony by Maria Forslin – Nominated: Best Cinematography – “The colours, the slick textured physical movement of the camera… it is all such a joy to watch.” 

The Hoot Owl by Jason Von Godi, Jason Rader – Nominated: Best Direction, Winner: Best Ensemble Cast – “A great example of what indie spirit can make – the film’s quality and attention speaks for itself – there’s style, and solid content here.” 

Death Screens by Nicholas Alexander – Nominated: Best Actor (Landon Flory) – “A solid performance here leads the short into its own believable quality.” 

Strange Dayz by TJ Walker, Rick Walters – Winner: Best Direction – “The style and production quality presented by Walker and Walters here is basically broadcast. It is believably slick and commercial, but also styled and engaging and very creative. Bravo!” 

Puppy Dog Tails by James Atkins – Nominated: Best Screenplay – “The film is bold and unique thanks to its concept. The genre is almost secondary to it – it is that special in terms of story choices.” 

Upstairs by Philip Trow – Nominated: Best Actor (Luke Newberry), Winner: Best Actress (Sorcha Groundsell), Nominated: Best Cinematography, Nominated: Best Ensemble Cast, Nominated: Best Direction, Nominated: Best Screenplay – “This is a show stopping short film.”

Maunsell Road by Bertrand Remaut – Winner: Best Cinematography – “The film’s lush visual style elevates it a great deal… this looks like a big budget production.” 

The Witch’s Bargain by Corey J. Trahan – Nominated: Best Ensemble Cast, Nominated: Best Screenplay – “The short boasts a great show piece which recalls the late night TV shows.” 

Raiders of the Lost Clam to the Future by Dana Graham Phelps – Winner: Best Screenplay – “About as nutty as a fruit cake.” 

Mack by Zak Bandit – Winner: Best Editing – “The film boasts a great sense of timing and pace.” 

Hangnail by George Lowe – Winner: Best Actor (Julian Salmon), Nominated: Best Direction – “Stylish and bitingly good. What a performance!”


Winner: Winner: Essential Worker by Piers Owen MacKenzie – Nominated: Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Piers Owen MacKenzie), Nominated: Best Quarantine Film – “Quite fantastically conceived, well shot and brilliantly delivered.” 


The Beholder by Shaun Clark – Nominated: Best Quarantine Film – “Barking nuts and great fun.”

The Vase by Nicholas Alexander – Nominated: Best Quarantine Film – “A great hoot of a film… this was clearly quite fun to make.”

Perspective by Aaron Cleary- Nominated: Best Quarantine Film – “Serious Stephen King vibes here. Quite fun.”

Sair Ane – Nominated: Best Quarantine Film – “Gore galore here… got to love the special effects!”

Side Effects by Cyan Shreve – Nominated: Best Actress (MaKenzie Smith), Nominated: Best Quarantine Film – “For some reason, the suburban horror setting is always extra chilling… be it the opening of Get Out or the run and survive vibes of It Follows, Side Effects carries a similar tone of inescapable internal horror in a ‘safe’ neighborhood home… Smith does a great job of helping show us these hidden fears as well.”

The Apartment by Nathaniel Allan Elfant –  Nominated: Best Actor (Nathaniel Allan Elfant), Nominated: Best Quarantine Film – “Nathaniel’s performance is a slicing machine – it cuts through the film’s tonne and concretes the fear factor.” 

The Hangman – Nominated: Best Quarantine Film – “The cinematography greatly helps enhance this limited space offered within The Hangman… it feels elevated and larger than a lockdown film.” 
 I Want To Play by Julian Lippke – Nominated: Best Quarantine Film – “The use of black as a color is great in this film.”


Winner: The Apartment by Nathaniel Allan Elfant – Best Black and White Cinematography – “Some serious dark violent retro horror here… greatly enhanced by the intense performances and black and white photography.”

Winner: Sair Ane – Best Special Effects – “There’s a great sense of practical and modern effects here… it is a lot of fun and helps elevate the film.”

Winner: Boy#5 by Eric Ian Steele – Best Independent Feature Film – The film has a great sense of purpose in its story – and that’s exactly what independent film is about!”

Winner: It Gets In Your Blood by Ed Hartman – Best Documentary – “Fantastically informative about a piece of film history that has somewhat been lost.”


Best Script: Winner: Vision Quest – “From the set up to the final delivery – Vision Quest has a weapon at its heart that will scare you into a genre-pleasure-submission.”

Nominees: The Taxidermist – “Concise and crisp.”, Steven – “A grand epic of horror – reminiscent of those kinds of Carpenter films that we all love…”, Out of the Black – “A great sense of what we’d call ‘hippie horror’ is present in Out of the Black… the only downside is perhaps this is a pricy project. But it is truly lovely with its bold sense of texture.”, Dream Girl – “Teething problems aside, this is a wonderful script. So much detail and texture… a director would love making this!”, Humboldt House – “The period piece and management of backstory is great fun here.”

Best Scare: Winner: Growl & Bark – “Outstanding. Just jumps off of the page.”

Nominees: THE ELEVATOR – “Claustrophobic and bloody good fun… the last lift film I can recall was Devil… and this, like Devil, recalls the simple fear of being in a confined place with our own human fears of the imaginary? unexplained. The tone is great fun in this.”, Ego Dead – “The sense of style, a kind of Twilight Zone vibes, is just a delicious event.”

Best Script Technique: Winner: The Ivory Buck – “This script has style, and it is delivered with such a professional sense of understanding – ie pace, production values, and setting… it has a distinct flavor which is identifiable, but all the well delivered in a solid presentation – almost like a good structure six-course meal. It’s a gut buster by a skilled chef basically.”

Nominees: The Problem With 13 Denzil Road by Matt Bailey – “Written with great care for the film form. There is a strong understanding of film script syntax and well constructed and consistent style. A solid TV pilot.”,

Best Micro-Budget Script: Winner: The Forest Line – “Sometimes less is more… The Forest Line proves this. It is simple, bold, and memorable.”

Nominees: The Taxidermist – “The script has a great sense of minimalism, it’s great.”, 44 – “The sense of locale and situational horror is great. It’s also very minimalist… which is always good budget-wise.”, The Haunting of Bill Foreman – “Though the title is rather cheesy, the content is slick 2000’s styled school-horror… think Jennifer’s Body meets Smart People.”, Partake – “Minimalist and budget-conscious in its understanding of arcs. Character is key here… the cast will enjoy playing the isolated house.”, The Birches – “For a feature film, this has a great sense of budgetary tricks that might prevent the film from getting completely out of control… the sense of the cast ensemble is key here – Careful casting will help elevate this film.”

Special Mention for Scripts – Winner: Best World Building: New Moon 5280 – Season 1 – “The sense of character, the locale and the world-building of this show is impressive… it almost has a graphic novel feeling about it. Gritty, dramatic, and flavourful.”, Best Gothic Script: Envious – “Shy of its bad title page (fill in the details!), this script is a great genre piece of the Gothic tone.”, Winner: Best Unique Script – Dream Girl – “Dangerous fable it is, Dream Girl is a great dark creature to read.” Winner: Best Fable: Zadok: An Innsmouth Story – “A great sense of fables appears here… it almost recalls the Stuart Gordon horror films.”,


Winner: The Hoot Owl – “Creepy, Gothic, Lovely.”
Finalists: Hangnail – “The sense of a retro poster here is brooding in a great sense – the poster hones in on a character and has a great painted style. Recalls Hammer Horror.”, Gungfly – “The style of this portrait recalls an error of photography that was both cutting edge and the remainder of our mortal existence… ie this poster is creepy as fuck.”
Nominees: Branching Out With The Invisible Man, Gone Bye Midnight, She Looks At Me, Corvées, The Tale of the Bone Collector, Fear and Loathing of a Pale Horse, Dwellers


Winner: MATERNAL – “Though rather restrained in terms of the locale or setting, this chilling trailer is quite great.” 

Nominees: Amarok – “Serious retro gaming vibes here, recalls the early video game of The X Files”, L’Obsession – “An arty trailer for a very arty film. Some of the credits are excessive.”, Tales from the Gravestones – “Quirky B Movie vibes and some fun editing tricks are in full flush of this trailer.” 

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