Horror Short Review: The Bells (2017)

Written and Directed by Virat Pal and starring Danny Barclay & Nell Rutledge-Leverenz. The Bells is a 2017 horror short that makes up for its shortcomings with a gleeful final twist!

We’re introduced to a man at home talking on the phone with his sister about having to attend the funeral of their uncle who they barely knew. As she questions why it is a closed coffin, the sound of distant bells are heard.

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The man appears to be the only one hearing them though as they get louder and louder drowning out his conversation with his sister. So loud do they get that he is forced to drop his phone and put his hands to his head. Then just as suddenly as they started, they stop.

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Relief? Not quite as a loud sharp squealing sound knocks him to his knees and appears to deafen him. Unable to hear, his lack of panic is…surprising. Especially when he sees a dark figure shoot past an open door. He goes to investigate but finds nothing, however on route back to his living room he finds a blood trail with bare foot prints in them. It leads to the couch where a wrapped up blanket reveals something disgusting.

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Now, surely this would cause panic and urgency but no! The man picks up a glass vase, slowly walks to the sideboard and picks up his car keys where he discovers his hearing has returned.

A clawed hand on his shoulder causes him to turn around but it’s a fake-out as nothing is behind him. As he turns to leave, he comes face to face with a toothy monster that kills him.

If that was it, there really wouldn’t be much to praise about The Bells but thankfully we cut to the next day where we see the sister trying to get hold of her brother. All while her young son eats at the table. They share a few words about him starting a new school before she goes to the sink. Then the bells start to sound. Initially it seems that she is hearing them and to be the next victim of the unknown monster but in an expertly done twist, the boy turns around and asks his mother if she can them. To which she says ‘hear what?’

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*chef kisses*

That ending is wonderful and while it doesn’t make up for a so-so short, it certainly leaves an impression. Check it out yourself below:


  • Carl Fisher

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The Bells (2017)
  • The Final Score - 6/10
User Review
4.5 (2 votes)