Euronews Culture Horr-a-thon: Day 1

At Euronews Culture, we celebrate Halloween not only with a series on the mythical creatures of Europe but counting the days until the spookiest holiday with a horror short every day.

Think of it as a shorter, spookier advent calendar that gets you in the ghoulish mood by celebrating some of the most inventive, exciting, and underrated art forms.

So dim the lights and relax with a pillow you can grab in shaking terror.

Our first short of the week is Mangerby Christian Rivers.

How much would you sacrifice for inspiration?

We have all been there. Stare at the blank page and don’t type or scribble anything valuable. Dying on a white canvas begging for a splash of color but you can’t begin to choose a tube of paint. Fixing six strings and not knowing where to start strumming…

Creatives from all walks of life struggle, and creative blockages aren’t easy.

Kiwi director Christian Rivers – who served as the visual effects supervisor and scripted all of Peter Jackson’s films from Brain death to his The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies – knows it.

His 2015 short film Manger sees an unlucky musician having to weigh the limits he’s willing to cross when an unseen entity trades him songwriting inspiration at an ever-increasing price.

It’s a lean, mean, and brilliantly evocative take on the age-old Faustian myth about blues musician Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil at a crossroads in order to achieve musical mastery.

Rivers creates a twisted, riffing Twilight Zone gem about the sacrifices one makes for artistic expression. It more than delivers on its promises and has a devilish ending that will make you think twice when it comes to fueling your inspiration.

Don’t get any ideas…

Stay tuned for our continuous countdown to Halloween with another mythical creature and a short film tomorrow…

Helen D. Jessen