Shorts Reviews: FAMILY NIGHT, SONAR, and WHERE’S WEIRDO (Romford Horror Festival)

February 27, 2023

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

Family Night

Writer/director Alan Dunne serves up an absolutely harrowing experience in the Irish horror short Family Night. Eoin Quinn gives a riveting, unnerving performance as a father whose unpredictable behavior has his wife (Denise McCormack), teen daughter (Molly McLoughlin), and preteen son (Flynn Gray) walking on eggshells, fearing angry outbursts that could happen at any moment. Dunne builds the suspense expertly, leading things to a jaw-dropping climax. This one is a true chiller that viewers need to go into as cold as possible. It’s virtually impossible not to be shaken up by Family Night. You can watch the trailer at


One of the most beautiful looking genre shorts I have seen in recent memory, director James Hughes’ U.K. film Sonar finds a young woman (Amy Marie Campbell) swimming in a pool at night when she hears a sonar sound. She submerges into the deep end of the swimming pool to investigate, and finds . . . well, that would be telling. Campbell and Jack Brett Anderson, in wordless performances, drive the heart of Sonar, which ultimately comes across as a warm, poignant tale with supernatural elements. Hughes has crafted a breathtaking short, with stunning images captured beautifully by cinematographers David Cawley and Jan Vaceanu-Staicov and a marvelous score from Victoria Wijeratne. You can watch the trailer at

Where’s Weirdo

Writer/director Duncan Peake’s Australian short Where’s Weirdo sees bookstore owner Daisy (Gabby Carbon) plagued by a terrifying entity that she accidentally unleashes after thumbing through a children’s book. Carbon gives a fine performance as the frightened young woman, and Peake helms his lean, mean screenplay with verve. Where’s Weirdo is a colorful chiller that features some eerie artwork of the titular menacing magician and some seriously spooky set pieces.


FAMILY NIGHT, SONAR, and WHERE’S WEIRDO screen as part of Romford Horror Festival, which takes place in Romford, U.K. from February 23–26, 2023. For more information, visit

Share This Article

You May Also Like…