“I was just wondering if you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior.”

Today’s Halloween Countdown pick doesn’t have ghosts.  It doesn’t have vampires, or witches, or anything directly related to the supernatural.  The featured short today is scary for an entirely different reason.

Knife Point, directed by NYU Tisch Graduate Film program student Carlo Mirabella-Davis, first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009.  It went on to be presented at various other film festivals, including The Brooklyn International Film Festival, where it won both Best New Director and Best Actress (Kate Lyn Sheil).  It was also shown internationally on Arte-TV in France and Germany.

The film is about a down-on-his-luck knife salesman (Lev Gorn) who accepts a ride from a family of Evangelical Christians.  27 minutes long, it is definitely a slow burn, but Mirabella-Davis masterfully executes characterization, nuance, and a horrifying ending that makes it worth the watch.

Knife Point doesn’t rely on jump scares or excessive gore to terrify its audience.  It uses the unsettling fact that the events that play out in the film could very easily happen in real life.