Short Round: Breathe wants you to hold your breath

Ghosts have been a big part of horror since film could run through a camera, so any new ideas centered around apparitional scares are certainly welcome around these parts. The new short film Breathe, from director Toby Meakins, offers a unique spin on bringing a hauntingly gorgeous ghost to life, one that you can only see as long as you’re holding your breath. Cool, right?

Coming in at just under 5 minutes, Breathe wastes no time in getting to work, soaking its narrative in a dreary atmosphere as we watch two friends conjure a ghost simply by holding their breath. Meakins, perhaps intentionally, allows his short to breathe on its own, focusing on stunning visuals and a steady build up to tell his story rather than resorting to jump scares. And despite an all too predictable finish, Breathe is no less disturbing and well worth your time.

Breathe stars Josef Altin (Game of Thrones, Child44, Eastern Promises). It premiered at FILM4 FRIGHTFEST, featured as part of the BFI Gothic Season and was nominated for the Maria Best Short Film award at the prestigious Sitges International Film Festival. It has played at over 30 festivals. Check it out below and find more short films like Breathe by visiting the Short Round!

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If you are ever attacked by a gorilla just sit back and relax while you enjoy the once in a life time feeling of your limbs being ripped off.

9 thoughts on “Short Round: Breathe wants you to hold your breath

  1. Did I miss something? Why did he kill his friend? I know he said that she would do things and then when it looks like she is he kills him.

    1. I’m pretty sure the short was developed with a feature film in mind so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a LOT more to it than what we see here. Maybe the ghost was that guy’s girlfriend before she died and now he sacrifices people for her. Your guess is as good as mine!

  2. Yeah, that was pretty cool. I think you’re onto something about there being more where this came from. I’m intrigued/confused by the guy who introduces his friend to the ghost. Seems like he’s got a backstory that needs to be told. I’m interested!

  3. If there is a backstory and it becomes a feature, it could be good. But if it’s a standalone short, it’s pretty uneventful. Stories are supposed to have a beginning, middle and end; this one has no end; it feels like an opening sequence to a feature, preparing to delve into a story.

    1. He originally developed this short film as a way to “sell” his feature film idea, that’s why it feels like there’s so much more to it than what we see here. It’s really a great concept, though.

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