Sneak peek at 10 short films that wowed the director of Saw

Voting begins next week on the 10 original shorts chosen as finalists in the Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights ChillerTV short film competition. Until then, SCI FI Wire is the only place you'll get to preview the spooky competitors before casting your vote Tuesday.

Chiller and Universal Studios Hollywood have partnered to recognize the nation's top short-form filmmaking horror genre talent, and the winning filmmaker will have an opportunity to have his or her short film rewarded with a TV broadcast of their work and win a $1,000 cash prize and a trip for two to the Oct. 2, 2009, opening night of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of experts including Kevin Greutert (director of Saw VI and editor of the first five films in the franchise), Thomas P. Vitale (executive vice president of programming and original movies for the Syfy Channel) and John Murdy (the creative director responsible for new attractions and special events at Universal Studios theme parks worldwide).

Check out the finalists below, and come Tuesday, don't forget to vote.


A cell phone rings in the middle of the night, but maybe it's not the person on the other end of the line who is the big concern.


The Nightmare

A sinister and wildly spinning collage of colorful images? Sweet dreams are not made of this.


Chinese Chiller

Ordering take-out isn't going to kill you. Or will it? Turns out the answer can be found in an unpredictable place for this hungry diner.



There's nothing sweeter than listening to a mama singing to her baby, but the lullaby hits a sour note for this daddy.


Lamaze of the Dead

In this homage to "Shaun of the Dead," we see just what sort of havoc zombies can wreak on a child birthing class—and what happens when it turns out all is not as it appears.



You've heard the expression that "No good deed goes unpunished." One traveler is about to learn exactly what that means.


Shadow Puppets

It's a simple game of shadow puppets, but when the patterns on the wall take on a life of their own it is anything but harmless.


Do No Harm

What happens when you take the worries of your work home with you? For a doctor who has just lost a patient, the burden may be too much for her heart to bear.



This artist is going to learn that art not only imitates life—it imitates death as well.


Stranger Danger

A knock on the door ends in a home invasion, but an escaped convict my have bitten off more than they can chew—literally.


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