Six spookily witty short films have dropped in on BBC iPlayer today, Friday the 13th, just in time for this Halloween. Commissioned by BBC Writersroom, Fright Shorts is a series of five minute comedy-shorts, written by six brand new Northern Ireland comedy writers.

Selected from hundreds of applicants from an open call by BBC Writersroom in Belfast, the writers have each produced a comedy-horror short with a Halloween theme showcasing new scripted-comedy talent.

The six Fright Shorts are:

  • The Candy Gran, written by Stephen Large, starring Stella McCusker, Michael Stranney and Aimee Richardson tells the tale of two teenage ‘trick or treaters’ who get more than they bargained for when they knock on the door of an old lady.
  • Derek And The Evil Halloween Pigeon, written by Martha Barnett, starring: Gerard McCabe and Tara Lynne O’Neill, sees straight-laced Derek battle the Evil Halloween Pigeon and his unhinged flatmate to make it to his date on time.
  • The Grandmummy Returns, written by Peter Gray, starring: Michael Liebmann, Gerard McCabe and Roma Tomelty, explores how Paul and best friend Dennis cope when tragedy strikes.
  • The Visit, written by Michael McCullough, starring: Dan Gordon, Chris Patrick Simpson, Julia Dearden and Eleanor Tiernan, follows Death on her frustrating day at the office and strange visit to the Donnelly’s for Halloween.
  • The Worst Halloween Ever, written by Mary Flanigan, starring Louise Parker, Sophie Doran, Julie Lamberton, Ruairi Woods, Rosie Barry, Colan Kelly, Odhran McNulty and Lucy McConnell, tells the tale of Emma the socially awkward witch, who plants a curse on her two flatmates throwing the Halloween party from hell.
  • Costume Drama, written by Dave Kinghan, starring: Peter Campion, Bronagh Waugh, Karen Hassan, David Elliott, Shane Todd and Jason Byrne, sees two fancy dress shop employees accosted by a vampire, witch and mummy, however they learn their spooky visitors may not be the stereotypical monsters they appear.

All six Fright Shorts have been script-edited by Jeremy Dyson (League Of Gentlemen, Psychoville) and directed by George Kane (Timewasters, Crashing and Newzoids). The series was produced by new Belfast based start-up Nice One Productions, working in partnership with Retort. The films have also been made with support from Northern Ireland Screen as part of their renewed partnership agreement with the BBC.