Filmmakers Michael and Martin Vrede Nielsen Create Terror in Record Time

For whatever reason, horror isn’t a common genre in short films, possibly because creating tension and terror often requires too much setup to make it viable for abbreviated running lengths. Repugnant, Michael and Martin Vrede Nielsen’s no-nonsense exercise in tingling our collective spines, is an interesting exception. Without any dialogue, the film throws us into the world of one man inside a house, where he appears to have committed some sort of mysterious, violent act. He hears sounds: Are they figments of his imagination — or is something, or someone, there with him? He pops pills, he compulsively searches around, but his paranoia simply gets worse. Repugnant, with its soundtrack full of strange, artificial noises and its intently roaming camerawork, almost borders on abstraction, even as it builds an elegantly stylized sense of tension, isolation, and danger. —Bilge Ebiri