The Duffer Brothers: The hidden gems of the gems themselves
We all have heard of the critically acclaimed and popular Netflix Original Series Strangers Things. If you have not (like me), we are here to tell you about the creators, Duffer Brothers.
Sure, they wrote a story about a bunch of kids, cops, and supernatural forces on the screen. Here we will talk about their short films and a little insight (plus tips) on Brother’s creativity.
Hopefully, this article will extend your ‘list of horror movies. And if you do not have one, I’d suggest you start making it. Be it for watching or avoiding.
Warning: Might contain spoilers!
The short films:
We all fall down (2005)
Set during the Great Plague of 17th century London, this film explores a classic haunted house and a family of four. As they escape to the countryside from the plague in the city, the Yates sought refuge in an aforementioned manner. With the lack of reviews on IMDB and a 6/10 stars rating, it is tough to comment on the short.
Based on a story of the same name by Peter Crowther. The story follows a graveyard-shift working NYPD officer in charge of a Cannibal convict. Who lurks around the precinct. The movie is a slow-burning suspenseful horror that sucks you into it. During the entire 18 mins of the film, the officers at the station seem to go crazy. Which in the end turns out to be the prisoner himself. If you are someone who is into slow-suspense and gore or has loved Stranger Things (2016), this short film can be a nice addition to your list.
Abraham’s Toys (2009)
Adapted from Joe Till’s short story, this one follows an instance from the lives of the popular Van Helsings (vampire hunters). A viewer described the film as ‘nothing epic… but something worth watching’. That seems to be the only somewhat legit comment as it is not available to watch for everyone.
Road to Moloch (2009)
Packed with a speculative narrative, pace, tension, and a lot of energy, this one explores an old ancient evil. A search squad sent to bring back 3 missing US soldiers from Iraq stumbles upon a bloody man. As they head with him towards a cave, all hell breaks loose.
(Watch Here: Vimeo)
This 13-minute sci-fi horror follows 5 main characters. In this, an airplane is attacked by an ‘unearthly power’ and all members on-board fight to survive by killing each other. The movie hasn’t received positive reviews according to IMBD) going as far as calling it a rundown version of Snakes on a Plane (2006) and saying it was too fast-paced with no proper introduction.
Duffer brothers genre
From these short films to their features and Stranger Things, horror and thriller have been the common genre. The pace and energy in all these stories always vary, as per what is required. For example, Road to Moloch is deemed to be a sort of fast-paced one. On the other hand, Hidden (2015) seems like it moves at a snail pace which builds up the anticipation.
From supernatural creatures in Vessel, evil myths in Road to Moloch, and gore in Hawkins, Indiana to government-led propaganda in Hidden. The Duffer Brothers sure love their genre.
From The Duffer brothers interviews
In an interview with No Film School, the Duffer Brothers shared a few tips on how to write and break into directing.
- Don’t chase trends – yes what is popular and liked by everyone is a safe approach. But if it doesn’t sit well with your own creativity, it’s best to not follow those trends.
- Write what you’re passionate about; tell your own story – truest stories bring the most authentic screenplays. And authenticity is what makes a writer and creator good.
- Write first. Then try direction – it’s important to know what you are going to put on the screen before learning the how of it.
- Don’t force casting and performance. Can’t coax it out of them, just give them their own creative space. And “don’t get in their way” – directors are often known to ‘encourage’ a better performance out of their cast. But the Duffer Brothers think it is best to pick up actors and let them do it on their own devices.
- “Zoom out” – take a step back and look at the big picture. Then get back into writing. It should not feel like a struggle, rather flow naturally.
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