Fresh Blood | We Can’t Wait for More: Remains, Directed by Dylan Clark
In the realm of YouTube horror shorts, Dylan Clark (b. 2001) is currently a household name. His religious horror short, Portrait of God (2022), has amassed an astounding total of 3 million views a year after it was uploaded, propelling him into the forefront of YouTube horror enjoyers’ home page recommendations and tastes.
Having graduated Ithaca College, his thesis project, Remains (2023), has also been released on YouTube after making its rounds at the Atlanta Horror Film Festival and being nominated for the Chicago Horror Film Festival, giving him more solid footing in the industry.
Produced by Jacquelyn Chin and Juliana Luis, and supported by Taylor Teusch as DoP, his latest short is no longer self-funded as Portrait of God (2022) was. Instead, Remains (2023) was crowdfunded via GoFundMe, where it managed to raise a total of USD 2,114, giving Clark more freedom to experiment with his horror filmmaking techniques.
The short follows a grieving mother whose infant son had recently passed, within its solid 11:11 runtime, the woman slowly realizes that something sinister lurks within her son, taking advantage of the emotional rollercoaster she was going through while grieving her son’s death.
Like in Portrait of God (2022), Clark makes effective use of a small set: the woman’s home, of which we’ll only see three rooms. He’s also still effectively using his story pattern, where he first wows/scares the audience to draw them in before inserting his takeaway message for them to understand. Since Remains (2023) largely deals with grief, Clark can take a stronger stance, one he shied away from when dealing with the delicate subject matter of religion as presented in Portrait of God (2022).
But what is most impressive from Remains (2023) is how Clark has managed to yet again nail his use of time within its jumpscares, one that can only be compared to how an artist would use their brush. The scares in Remains (2023) distract us with a cry, draw us in with a light at the end of the tunnel, and the moment we let our guards down, the moment we reach out with awe and innocent curiosity, it pounces, putting a firm hand on our throat and sending a wave of shock through our body. And all this is packaged in a beautiful, consistent, visual style, one that hopefully he will be able to hone to craft his original take, making Dylan Clark, surely, a name to look out for within the horror film industry.
Dylan Clark is a filmmaker with a passion for writing and directing. Most of his work explores the horror genre including “Portrait of God” (2022), “Rest” (2021), and “Transfigure” (2021). Many of these short horror projects can be found on his YouTube channel, where Clark has amassed a sizable audience. Some of his work has won awards at national film festivals.