12 Horror Shorts That Became Feature Length Classics You Can Watch Right Now

Voting Rules
Vote up the best shorts to become full-length horror movies.

There are many short horror films you can watch online, but not all of them are chosen to eventually become full length movies. Did you know some pretty good horror films like The Grudge and The Evil Dead started as just a few minutes of an idea in the director's mind? These ideas are often manifested as a baby movie, like Saw 0.5, and you can find many of these horror short films on YouTube.

Horror shorts that later become full-length movies aren't just lucky - they contain something that needs to be grown by someone with a vision. Studios and investors in the film industry saw these shorts and handpicked them out of the sea of horror shorts online to be fully realized. Even Guillermo del Toro has given a short film a hand.

While you're able to watch films about ghosts, movies about home invasions or tales of terrifying serial killers on Netflix, sometimes you just need something short.

Photo: flickr / CC0

  • 1
    190 VOTES


    Video: YouTube

    Macabre film legend Guillermo del Toro noticed Andrés Muschietti's 2008 short Mama and decided to produce the full length version of the same name. Del Toro was happy to help Muschietti's directorial vision in the final film, calling his short "one of the scariest little scenes I have ever seen.”

    190 votes
  • 2
    128 VOTES
    Lights Out
    Video: YouTube

    Apparently, you can get a movie deal out of a three-minute short, as David Sandberg discovered with Lights Out. He posted his short online, it went viral, and was eventually made into a full length feature of the same name. 

    128 votes
  • 3
    136 VOTES

    Seasons Greetings

    Seasons Greetings
    Video: YouTube

    Trick 'R Treat was originally an animated short called Seasons Greetings made by Michael Dougherty when he was in college. When it was later made into a feature film, the name was changed as it sounded a lot like Christmas. 

    136 votes
  • Within The Woods
    Video: YouTube

    Sam Raimi's 1978 short, Within The Woods, convinced investors he could direct a horror film and they gave him the go ahead to make The Evil Dead. This short also centers around a cabin in the woods, stars Bruce Campbell, and features the wild shooting style and dark humor Raimi is known for.

    100 votes
  • 5
    115 VOTES
    Saw 0.5
    Video: YouTube

    Before there were a whole bunch of sequels, there was the 2003 version of Saw (aka Saw 0.5), a low budget short made by James Wan and Leigh Whannell to show to investors. It's only nine minutes long, but features the famously terrifying jaw trap which was said to actually be rusty and dangerous, not some fake Hollywood prop. 

    115 votes
  • 6
    81 VOTES
    Video: YouTube

    This early short from Tim Burton combining Frankenstein and pet ownership got the director fired from Walt Disney Studios for being too dark. They didn't know Burton would go on to direct big money-makers like Batman and Beetlejuice, but they did bring him back to make the feature length version of Frankenweenie in 2012. The 1984 short also stars Barret Oliver of The Neverending Story fame.

    81 votes