The 13th Floor

A Poltergeist’s “Game” Takes a Dark Turn in the Sinister Short EMMA

This inventive short-form frightfest from writer-director Mike Castro has an interesting origin story — it began as an entry in a short film competition coinciding with David F. Sandberg’s hit prequel ANNABELLE: CREATION, but production was delayed in its final days, when an illness suddenly befell lead actress Chelsea Camp.

Fortunately, Camp recovered, and production commenced again — though sadly not in time to meet the submission deadline for the original contest. But Castro saw this as an opportunity to spend more time honing the production and fleshing out the main concept behind EMMA.

The result is a tight, quirky and darkly comic tale depicting a day in the life of Sara Jacobs (Camp), who oddly enjoys “playing” with what seems to be a mischievous entity haunting her new house. But as she soon discovers, the mysterious tenant is playing for keeps.

Watch it below — and pay close attention to the clues:

Here’s a cool footnote: that extra time spent on EMMA ended up paying off in other ways, as it was soon featured on Film Shortage, where it caught the attention of Hollywood producers. Castro is now working out a feature-length version of the main premise, so hopefully we’ll see that project in development in the near future.

You can see more horror, thriller and comedy shorts from Castro and his colleagues on the YouTube channel Journey’s End. They have many more projects in the pipeline, so keep a close watch!

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