There’s no denying that the genre’s greatest talents are generally taken from us far too soon. From Peter Jackson to James Wan – horror often serves as a springboard to bigger and far more lucrative projects. While that can certainly be disheartening, it also serves as a constant reminder that true talent is always lurking around in the shadows – waiting to be discovered. Often times, the big break is merely a short film away.

That certainly seems to be the case for Director/Composer David F. Sandberg.

Sandberg has been uploading short films and other various project to his Vimeo channel for over 6 years now. Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden – his films display several characteristics that won’t go unnoticed by the educated horror consumer. Allow me to explain:

Sandberg has a legitimate understanding of how sound can be utilized to create fear and dread. You probably won’t be hearing orchestrated string sections frantically bowing up and down minor key scales.

What Sandberg does is use the silence to his advantage. Accompanying it with close, tight, and realistic sound FX. Sure, you may get an underlying ominous tone running in the background, but that’s simply a mood setter. This minimalistic approach to audio is refreshing and far more effective than the in-your-face techniques recycled through most mainstream horror films.

“Short film” can mean a lot of things, but Sandberg takes the term quite literally. Most of his works come in between 3 and 4 minutes in length. There is virtually no down time.

You know the moments in a movie where audiences get quiet due to an unstated agreement that something creepy is about to happen? Sandberg has made a name for himself by replicating these moments time and time again. He is able to suck you into his universes without any prior knowledge or background. You’re in it, you care, and you’re terrified.

There’s nothing worse than a director with a talented eye for composition but lacks an eye for quality. Sometimes this is due to financial constraints, but with consumer grade cameras performing at an all-time high, that argument doesn’t carry as much weight as it once did.

Sandberg is not only able to accurately portray his visions onto film, but he has been able to do something that some filmmakers spend decades trying to achieve. He has “a look”. A certain style that, when placed in front of you, screams of his work. That’s a good thing… a very good thing.

Of course, it’s not all roses. There are several things we haven’t seen from Sandberg, and a few things that we have already seen far too often.

His films generally center around one woman – and that woman is always portrayed by the same actress. It will be interesting to see how Sandberg works with a full cast with conflicting personalities and acting styles. Additionally, these films often conclude with a certain “cheese” that is in stark contrast to the preceding minutes of the film. Such as the Demon Face in “Lights Out” or the Black Creature in “Coffer”. This is surprising due to his “less is more” approach.

Regardless, we are about to see what this guy is made of. If you haven’t already heard, a feature film adaption of Lights Out began filming today with Sandberg in the director’s seat and James Wan on board as a producer. Lawrence Gery’s Grey Matter Productions is also helping on the production side of things. Details are scarce on the plot but here’s what we have thus far:

A young boy and his estranged sister, who are confronted by an evil entity that only appears when the lights are out.

It’ll be interesting to see how things progress from here, but one thing is for certain – the world is about to get a lot more David F. Sanberg. Here’s to hoping that’s a good thing!

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