“Horror gives us the permission to explore our most primal fears and deepest anxieties in a safe and hopefully, cathartic way,” said Vera Miao, creator of “Two Sentence Horror Stories,” a new short form anthology series based on the Reddit thread of the same name. The ambitious series uses genre to shed light on social issues such as racism, homophobia, cyber-bullying, and the pursuit of beauty. “Horror has such a strong track record in exploring social issues,” said Miao. “In this upside down political and social moment we’re in, no one can argue that monsters aren’t real.”
Miao initially got the idea for “Two Sentence Horror Stories” from a Reddit thread, which featured horror stories told in two sentences, many of which went viral. “They had a classic, campfire spooky story feel made possible by this new, digital space. They’re so evocative, my imagination would just go off,” she said.
Miao wrote the series and directed two of the episodes; the other three feature guest directors from the independent horror scene. Miao’s first foray into producing came with the indie feature, “Best Friends Forever,” which she wrote and produced with director Brea Grant. The film played the Slamdance Film Festival in 2013, a long-running alternative to Sundance. “Best Friends Forever” is about two best friends who take a road trip from Los Angeles to Austin just as nuclear war breaks out in the U.S. Though more comedic than “Two Sentence Horror Stories,” the movie foreshadows Miao’s talent for making multi-layered, socially conscious horror.
“It’d be exhausting to try to process the deepest fears only with the most real stories — I need the fairy tale to give me the distance to sit with my fears and still come out the other side,” said Miao.
With its online genesis, the anthology series found a perfect home at go90, where it has been airing throughout the month. It was produced by Stage 13, an arm of Warner Bros. Digital Networks that creates original digital content for the next generation of discerning cinephiles.
In the final episode of the anthology series, “Second Skin,” a street-smart young woman accepts an invitation to a luxurious spa, and discovers just how far the powerful patrons will go to stay on the cutting edge of beauty. It was written by Miao, and directed by Ryan Spindell. Watch the full episode exclusively below:
Watch the rest of “Two Sentence Horror Stories” on go90.