9 ingenious narrative short films and TV episodes filmed in quarantine


Swedish filmmaker David F. Sandberg’s (Lights Out, Shazam!) latest short horror film is a spooky, no-budget achievement. Shot in his own house, and starring his wife, Sandberg makes use of natural light, dark corners, and silence to craft a creepy tale of a woman terrorized by shadows both real and spectral. You can also watch the making-of featurette here.

One Cut of the Dead – Mission: Remote

2019’s One Cut of the Dead was a wonderful horror-comedy mockumentary about a film crew shooting a zombie movie, who end up being attacked by real zombies. This short sequel reunites the cast, as the same film crew are now tasked to create a true-crime TV episode during the COVID-19 pandemic! Not only is Mission: Remote hilarious, it also continues to be a love letter to the DIY, can-do spirit of independent filmmaking.

There Can Be Only One

Mike Mendez’s smartphone-shot short film There Can Be Only One proves that being confined with minimal technology doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and have a lot of fun in the process. In this short, Mendez attempts to find out who’s been stealing his Oreos, only to uncover a conspiracy by a Guillermo del Toro action figure, who wants to transform the planet into a utopia of fauns and fish people. 

Mythic Quest: Quarantine

While season one mined the stress and toxicity of working in an MMORPG video game studio for some hilariously dark comedy – this new socially distanced installment mines the frustration of video conference meetings for laughs! Shot with dozens of iPhones and choreographed perfectly – this episode is a slick, funny, and even profound exploration of evolving workplace culture. You can watch the full episode on Apple TV+.


Uploaded to YouTube by Vesyee余斯維 – LOCKDOWN 28 is a fascinating solo project that the filmmaker created with only the help of his brother. As you can see in the film above, the confinement was a great opportunity to craft uniquely impressive coloring and visual effects.


Made for free by members of the Prague film community, Coronapocalypse is directed and edited by Paul Dean. The film stars Natalie Golavchenko as a fictional social media influencer (who goes by Flick69) and is filmed from her online streams. This is a cool example of how filmmakers can use empty public streets to create eerie, suspenseful compositions. 


Netflix’s new anthology features 17 short films made over the past two months around the world.  A dense collection of inquisitive, unpredictable and life-affirming responses to the pandemic from some of the most astute directors working today (such as Paolo Sorrentino, Kristen Stewart, Ana Lily Amirpour, and more) – Homemade is pure filmmaking talent in bite-sized pieces that doubles as a lively, scattershot collage of the world in 2020.

Not Alone Here

Here’s another horror short from David F. Sandberg! Made with zero budget and crew, Not Alone Here once again features Sandberg’s wife and collaborator Lotta Losten being stalked by some sort of supernatural force. But this atmospheric film changes up the format with some creepy results. You might think you know where this is going based on Sandberg’s other short films, there are more than a few surprises that are going to catch you off guard. 

A Parks and Recreation Special – “Isolate Yo’ Self!”


Written by series co-creator Mike Schur alongside many of Parks and Recreation’s original writers, and featuring virtually the entire cast – this warm, funny and comforting reunion is exactly what we need right now. Filmed on webcams and smartphones, this delightful special follows Leslie Knope as she checks in on all her loved ones during this time of crisis. You can watch the full special here.