Shot by an aspiring filmmaker on a nothing of a budget, Passenger quickly creates a uncomfortable sense of dread. It’s what I love most about horror shorts – they know they’re there to scare from the get-go. The good ones are about creating mood – and the basest for the genre is, of course, fright.
At under 4 minutes, it’s to Passenger‘s benefit that its concept is simple and, crucially, relatable: a young man is in his car, thinks he sees something (driving =/= a good time to think you’re hallucinating). Add to that your car is a tiny, very personal space, and the idea of an intruder who doesn’t play by the rules of physics, nature and everything is a fairly unsettling scenario.
It’s got some pretty top editing, with some tight close-ups and some clear, crisp sound; a near-lack of score keeps you in perpetual jump-scare anticipation, but thankfully it doesn’t go that route. Really quite rewatchable and, for me, passed the “Is it Kinda Scary to Watch in the Dark?”* test.
(*i.e., I’m compelled to turn the lights back on – like, a lot – but I’m too lazy)