Essays · Movies

Bullying and Witchcraft Converge in This Moody, Devious Short Film

By  · Published on October 12th, 2016

Because someone must make brides of the wicked.

It’s always hard to be objective about a film made by your friends. That’s one of the things you learn if you spend enough time in this industry. So I won’t try to lie to you, dear reader, this short film was made by a few friends of both myself and a number of people here at Film School Rejects. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still pretty rad.

Written by my good friend Peter S. Hall, producer of films such as My Sucky Teen Romance and Grow Up, Tony Phillips, and directed by friend of the site Paul Gandersman, Givertaker is a short film about high school bullying and witchcraft. It features a sharp lead performance from relative newcomer Nell Kessler and delivers a new kind of monster: a righteous demonic beefcake who emerges from a wishing well.

The film made its debut online today after playing at Fantastic Fest last month. Watch it for yourself below:

The minds behind the film also commissioned artist Stephen Andrade to make them a VHS-era horror poster, which can be seen below. Needless to say, we’re beaming with pride for our friends. Givertaker is a spunky horror short that leaves a lot of mythology on the table, making it ripe for future (or more expanded) adaptations. Here’s hoping that this won’t be the last we’ll see of this demented wishing well.

For more information about the filmmakers, visit

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)