How to Be Alone

By Kate Trefry | Horror
A woman's deepest fears seem to manifest physically when her husband leaves for the night shift.

A young photographer and wife played by acclaimed star actor Maika Monroe is left alone late at night, when her doctor husband — played by “Stranger Things” favorite Joe Keery — goes to his overnight shift at the hospital.

But in the absence of her husband — and the emptiness and quiet of her apartment and home — she struggles with horrific paranoid visions of her latent anxieties and fears — visions which manifest physically and threaten her life, future and marriage.

Writer-director Kate Trefry, who also writes for Netflix television hit “Stranger Things,” offers a terrifically engaging and stylish horror short that mines one woman’s troubled interiority, bringing her internal visions of fear to life with impressive visual panache and flair. The short calls to mind a horror classic like Roman Polanski’s “Repulsion,” which also mined a troubled young woman’s inner life, charting its increasing destabilization through the surreal transformation of her physical space into a monstrous, vindictive presence.

But while Polanski’s horror classic was meditative,eerie and disturbing, this short also has a modern sense of fun, evoked by both its slick, shiny saturated colors and the wry voiceover of its main character, which displays a knowing self-awareness and a sense of irony about the expectations she faces. Trefry’s writing is fast-paced, wry and smart, and the story rolls forward with great energy, emphasized by nimble editing and dynamic camerawork. The result is a rollicking take on the horror movie, alive with the electric energy of a great, infectious pop song.

Lead actor Maika Monroe is well known for her breakthrough performance in the excellent horror film “It Follows,” and she brings her intelligence, emotional relatability and undeniable star screen presence to her character as a young wife often left alone to her own devices. She essays the role of a woman ambivalent about her role and place in life with great immediacy, offering a multi-layered performance that’s alive to the frightening surreality of her visions as well as her underlying fears — losing her creativity and facing the fact of starting a family — that’s fueling them.

“How to Be Alone” ends with a unforgettable, funny image that suggests that the couple has found a way to make fears co-exist with life’s reality. Vivid and engagingly dark, it also gives voice in a funny, wry, self-aware way to how enormous expectations and self-consciousness can reel out of control. Like many other great horror films, under the well-crafted chills, thrills and excitement it offers an emotional education in facing fears head-on and integrating them into one’s “daylight” life in a healthy way. In fact, we just may find a way to value — and befriend — them.

You Might Also Like:


By Benjamin Bee | Drama
An ultra-orthodox Jew hasn't seen his identical twin brother in years. But today is the day of their father's funeral.


By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
Her husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Stealing Silver ft. Maisie Williams

By Mark Lobatto | Drama
A woman confronts a painful time in her life after discovering the truth about a mysterious old man living across from her.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man, upon dying, is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.


By Devon Manney | Animation
Returning to the U.S. after losing both arms, a veteran battles phantom pains, prosthetics and memories of his pre-war life.

Hold On

By Charlotte Scott-Wilson | Drama
A young cellist develops stage fright after one of her cello strings comes lose during an important performance.

Don’t Be a Hero

By Pete Lee | Drama
A middle-aged woman battles her loneliness and boredom by robbing banks in the guise of a cowboy on her lunch break.

Our Kind of Love

By Elham Ehsas and Azeem Bhati | Romance
An Afghan village girl goes on her first date in London.

Lost and Found

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A clumsy crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. David Bradley & Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A once-legendary farmer takes a chance and invests his life savings in a thoroughbred piglet.


By Joe Gillette | Romance
Two strangers, trying to avoid the crowd at a wedding reception, end up making an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
A man in a time loop must work with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire.


By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy. Then, she start to piece together how she got there.


By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's love life begins to slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship and confront how intertwined they've become.


By Mark Ram | Drama
Two friends climb a mountain, connected by a rope. But when one falls, the other's life hangs in an unstable balance.

Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.