David F. Sandberg’s Best Short Films, Ranked

Most people might know by David F. Sandberg name for directing a film in one of the most popular horror franchises. In 2017, he became director of Annabelle: Creation. Two years later, he made the leap into the DC universe by directing Shazam! Now he’s returning to the superhero universe, leading industry titans such as Helen Mirren, Zacharie LeviAnd lucy liu In Shazam! Fury of the gods.

While directing superhero movies may come as a surprise to fans who have followed Sandberg from the start, the horror factor of his filmography is in line with his previous work. Sandberg began making his own horror shorts – alongside his wife, Lotta Losten – and post them on his YouTube channel. It was then that he began to share his voice with the world.

ten “See You” (2014)

A creature's face next to Lotta Losten.
Image via YouTube by David F. Sandberg

If the horror can be felt in 14 seconds, Sandberg will deliver just that. The court See you soon introduces the audience to a woman (played by Losten) who appears to be grieving the loss of the man in the photo she is holding. The man is Sandberg himself because most of his shorts will include the two playing all the roles and bringing those stories to life.

The reflection in the photograph tells viewers that something is coming, but when the woman turns around there is no clue as to what is about to happen. However, the short ends with a creature’s face next to Losten’s and the perfect audio to make it very clear that something terrifying is going on.

9 ‘Picture’ (2014)

Lotta Losten holding a hammer.
Image via YouTube by David F. Sandberg

On the picture is a short horror film centered around a photograph that hangs in a woman’s apartment. This time, Losten is sharing the screen with Hanna Johansson. As the main character begins to hear noises in an apartment where she finds herself alone, she realizes that the woman in the photo seems to move every time she looks away from it.

In the final seconds of the short, Losten continues to cover and uncover her eyes to see how photography changes. She does this enough that the woman in the picture switches places with her, and she gets stuck inside the frame.

8 ‘Cam Closer’ (2013)

A woman's body on the ground through the camera of a phone.
Image via YouTube by David F. Sandberg

In 2013, Sandberg played with an iPhone camera in closer cam. This time around, the focus was on the phone’s camera app, capturing everything that could be seen through it up close. The trick was that there were certain physical things that the main character saw, but the camera didn’t.

However, things got worse when the phone’s camera showed things the woman couldn’t see in her apartment. As she follows a body that appears to be dragged into her apartment, the audience is confronted with jumpscare and a terrifying woman with white eyes.

7 ‘Trunk’ (2014)

Lotta Losten looks over a sofa.
Image via YouTube by David F. Sandberg

The majority of Sandberg’s shorts follow a formula in which a woman peacefully performs routine tasks in her apartment until a noise or object catches her attention, disrupting her harmony. Immediately, audiences know that anything that enters their world will be horrifying.

In Chest, the woman is reading a book when a noise and movement from a chest distracts her. She sits on the trunk to try and stop it, but curiosity gets the better of it once it’s opened and she has to find out what’s inside. As she steps closer, discovering the true depth of the chest, the audience encounters the jumpscare: a hand pulling her in.

6 “Storage Space” (2016)

Lotta Losten looks through a closet door.
Image via YouTube by David F. Sandberg

Similar to what happens in On the picture, In Storage room every time the woman closes and opens the closet door, she finds that the hangers inside multiply. She tries with a doll and the same thing happens, more dolls appear each time she opens the door. However, when she puts her husband (Sandberg is on camera this time) in the closet, he disappears.

She then walks into the closet and nothing happens inside. As she leaves, she sees a woman like her looking very scared and a man like her husband lying on the ground. It is then that the viewer realizes that there are two of each.

5 “Not So Fast” (2014)

Lotta Losten standing in the dark.
Image via YouTube by David F. Sandberg

The voltage in not so fast comes from the lack of lightning and the heavy breathing or grunts that can be heard behind the woman’s panicked face. In a dark room, Losten is afraid that there is something or someone behind her, but each time she tries to reach the door, she gets further and further away from it. It gets worse as soon as the door closes completely.

However, the perfect plot twist comes when viewers realize that Losten is sleepwalking and having a nightmare. The hand that was seen touching her face makes perfect sense as it was Sandberg trying to wake her up. A less frightening end to which he has accustomed his viewers.

4 ‘Shadow’ (2020)

Lots of lost reading.
Image via YouTube by David F. Sandberg

Even though he was already making world-famous films, Sandberg hasn’t forgotten where he started and during the 2020 lockdown he delivered Shady for his YouTube subscribers. As the lights go out in a woman’s house, she realizes that in the light of her flashlight she sees things that are not physically there.

It’s not as scary as when she sees the shadow of a woman in her rocking chair. As more and more noises begin to occur in the house, she comes face to face with the shadow of a taller man. Trying to escape this creature, she returns to her room to find that she has just locked herself in with several shadows.

3 “Attic Panic” (2015)

Lotta Losten's hands opening a door.
Image via YouTube by David F. Sandberg

The title Attic Panic reveals that something completely terrifying is going to happen in an attic. However, the setting isn’t the typical attic that most people imagine in a horror movie. It is an attic that has several storage units. The terrifying factor comes when the light bulbs start making an annoying grinding noise and unscrew.

If the spooky noises weren’t enough, there’s a creature under a white sheet following the woman. But when the woman locks herself in her storage unit and pulls the sheet to reveal nothing underneath, there is nothing to see. It is then that the public realizes that she has just locked up the creature with her.

2 “Not Alone Here” (2020)

Lotta Losten standing near a door.
Image via YouTube by David F. Sandberg

Not alone here is one of those Sandberg shorts that breaks the mold because it immediately begins with a female voiceover. It’s also longer than what he usually uploads to his YouTube channel at six minutes and 18 seconds. The voice perfectly describes what she has done and how she feels — that she is not alone in her home.

The suspense and the tension come from what she says, but also from the way she turns around every corner in fear of finding someone or something. Every open door is a sign that something is about to happen. In the end, it’s not behind a door, but after looking at her camera that something does indeed come towards her.

1 “Lights Out” (2013)

Lotta Losten hidden under the covers.
Image via YouTube by David F. Sandberg

In 2016, Sandberg directed the film Curfew. The feature film followed the story of Rebecca and her brother as she must come face to face with a spirit linked to her mother. Therese Palmier, Gabriel Batman, Maria BelloAnd Billy Burk are some of the actors who brought the film to life. However, the film is based on a short film of the same title that Sandberg made for the Who’s There Film Challenge.

The short takes place on a rainy night in which the woman realizes that every time she turns off the light, a creature is approaching her. Once in bed, the sound of footsteps becomes more terrifying than the silhouette she had seen before. Only under the covers does she feel safe, but is she?

NEXT: ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods director on dragon, villains and what he learned from test screenings


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