In spooky short Givertaker, a high-school outcast taps into her love of the occult to get back at the mean girls in her class. The 1996 cult classic The Craft is an obvious inspiration here—especially when the spell backfires, and the teen learns the hard way that you have to be very, very careful what you wish for.
Check out the Paul Gandersman-directed short below, followed by an interview with writer Peter S. Hall.
io9: Where did the idea for the short come from?
Peter Hall: We wanted to make a short about a teen who figures out a ritual she can perform to get revenge on some classmates. The ritual took on a few different forms in the earlier drafts, though. Originally there was much more involved, a lot more explanation to what she was doing, how she was doing it, and even more magic stuff in the room. But then we stripped out a lot of that to make everything less about the ritual and more about the revenge, and so we were left with a much more streamlined story about someone whose magic actually goes totally to plan, just not with the result she was expecting.
The Givertaker poster is framed like a book cover for “A Dead Kids Club Story,” which is also the subtitle for the short. What is that exactly, and do you plan to expand on it?
Hall: The Dead Kids Club is kind of a few things simultaneously; it’s a feature film about a father and son who rediscover an old book series from the ’90s called Dead Kids Club, which were these interwoven stories about teens/college kids dabbling with the supernatural. It’s also the name of a group of kids within the stories who called themselves the Dead Kids Club and who made it their business to look into the horrors going on in the town.
How does the short fit into that world?
Hall: Givertaker is a weird beast in that it’s not actually a part of the Dead Kids Club feature film, but it also doubles as a proof-of-concept for that world. I do have a plan to continue this specific story separately, though, which would involve [Givertaker character] Sarah’s brother hiring the Dead Kids Club to go find his sister.