Brevity is the soul of wit, or so the saying goes, and while cinema is certainly packed with great long movies, all but the most supremely confident of filmmakers are best advised to respect the audience's time as much as possible.
After all, it's far more difficult to hate a short movie that flies by without making the audience truly feel its length, and sometimes, directors are able to produce absolute cinematic gold on such a constrained canvas.
Though there can be merits to horror movies which let viewers soak in their atmosphere over a more expansive two-hour runtime, shorter horror fare can also possess an appealingly dreamlike quality, coming and going before the audience has truly had time to process what they're watching.
And so, we come to these 10 horror movies all of which impressively clock in at less than 80 minutes.
Whether recent lower-budget genre exercises or classic horrors from an entire century ago, each of these films got in and got out with maximum efficiency, yet without sacrificing even an iota of atmosphere or artistry. That's quite the achievement...
Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza's 2007 found footage film [REC] remains one of the genre's finest efforts to date: a dizzying, frequently nerve-shredding Spanish horror in which a news reporter, Angela (Manuela Velasco), ends up trapped inside an apartment complex with a group of firefighters while a viral infection spreads.
At just 78 minutes in length, [REC] is a perfect example of a horror film that gets to the point quickly and doesn't let up all the way to the finish line.
There's not an ounce of fat on this thing, which is powered by both a fast-unspooling mystery and expertly executed suspense set-pieces, culminating in one of the most gut-wrenching finales to any horror movie of the last 15 years.
It is terror concentrated down to its most efficient form, and its direct sequel isn't bad either. You probably needn't bother with the English-language remake Quarantine, though, which was basically a shot-for-shot retelling but 11 minutes longer and... less good.