Sunset (2015) – Horror Short Review

Before they made Servus de Infernum (2016), The Final Photograph (2017) and The Klondike Incident (2017), Gary Berger and Josh Mowatt of P.P. Urpansoph Films created a black and white horror short called Sunset. I just recently found the boys of Urpansoph Films, and as if you couldn’t tell from my reviews, I am a big fan. Although these two are just starting out in the world of horror, they’ve already touched upon quite a few subgenres, including urban legends, witches, found footage, possession, demons and psychopaths. Did the debut project of Josh Mowatt and Gary Berger strike a chord in me like the latter three?

Just ten minutes long, Sunset was filmed in the summer of 2015 for a mere $500. The short was written by Willie Harrell, who also starred, produced and designed the costumes for himself and his co-star, Rikki Hotvedt, who played Sydney. As per usual, both Josh Mowatt and Gary Berger were very involved in the making of Sunset. Although Josh was the sole director and Gary the one and only cinematographer and editor, they both produced, cast, managed the location and the set and created the special effects for the film.

The official synopsis:

A woman quickly finds herself in a life or death situation.

Young, pretty Sydney leaves a note for her husband, Michael, asking him to meet her at their favorite spot to watch the sunset so he can tell him her big news. She stretches, gets her earbuds out and and starts off down the road. Once she arrives at “their spot,” someone lurking in the bushes sneaks out and knocks her unconscious. Who is this man and what does he want?

The storyline for Sunset was pretty familiar. There were no twists or jump scares and there is only one real line of dialogue in the entire ten minute short with no background music to fill the space. There is only the tension building as Sydney runs deeper and deeper into the woods, away from civilization where no one could hear her scream. I thought Rikki Hotvedt did a superb job in her role, especially the parts where she had to be knocked out. She didn’t even flinch as she was being dragged across the rocky ground and carried through the woods. You never see her attacker’s face, so your imagination runs wild, picturing the mug of this hulking psycho. I wasn’t too sure on the decision to use the old time black and white effect, but that’s just me. All in all, a great first effort for P.P. Urpansoph Films.

Check the short out below and let us know what you thought in the comments. Make sure you stay to the end to see some onset photos with the cast and crew.

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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