It’s hard (if not impossible sometimes) to find the perfect formula for a movie. Especially since the genre you want to approach is so popular that it seems to have exhausted all the resources of originality. This is, in fact, the subject of the short film ‘The Greatest Horror Film Ever Made‘ which depicts the more or less hilarious attempts of a director to create a successful project. Unfortunately, the process is more difficult than one might think, since creating a horror film involves the constant struggle with the genre clichés and the respect for the “unwritten laws” of the guild that prevent the director from always following their instinct. Basically, Brandon Jordan creates in this project a kind of meta-narrative, through which he opposes the real plan (the director’s struggle with their own story) and the fictional plan (the mental projection of the cinematographic matter), in order to finally capture the disastrous formula of an artistic process that leads to nothing. There is a lot of irony and self-irony in this short film since the director seems to be inspired by a personal experience with the demands of such a story, but this is precisely its great quality. In other words, a failed film project can turn into something good as long as it is subjected to a process of deconstruction, to a detached gaze that illustrates not the false cohesion of its components, but their incompatibility, which, compared to the imposed criteria of the cinematic tradition, express, in fact, the superficiality of (almost) any similar attempt.


Thus, in established typologies of horror films, this short film doesn’t lack conventional spaces, superficial or predictable dialogue, terrifying music, and so on, but all these are counterpointed by a permanent questioning of their quality, of their structural cohesion that justifies for their presence. Brandon Jordan proves a lot of intelligence and a lot of courage through this exercise of self-irony, managing to save a story that had all the chances to be a total failure. Consequently, it’s not the originality of the perspective that really matters here, but the way the director seems to doubt that anyone else could claim to create a totally original story of this kind. ‘The Greatest Horror Film Ever Made’ is, from this point of view, a short film that is saved by its (self-)irony, while also speaking of the crisis of a cinematic genre that risks not being able to say anything original anymore…