Give Your Spooky Season Support to These Indie Horror and Fantasy Creators

Fall is the perfect time of year to dive into fictional lands, which we are seeing right now with shows like The Rings of Power dominating the TV landscape. But, with the spooky season’s arrival, we also love to throw some chilling fantasy and downright scary things into the mix. There is a plethora of TV and film offerings to choose from; however, indie creators don’t often get the same recognition for their contributions to horror and fantasy.

split photo of indie creator works with mother and vampire daywalker
Deanna Gomez/Nikyatu Jusu

This is disheartening considering it is their ingenuity and work that truly anchors those genres and pushes them forward. (A very true sentiment when it comes to horror specifically.) It can admittedly be difficult to find their work and, while Nerdist cannot list all indie horror and fantasy creators, here are a few who are bringing innovative works our way. 

Moon Ferguson

Moon Ferguson’s work has been on our radar for a while, particularly her Black witch series Juju. Through Ferguson’s Filled With Magic Productions, she is gearing up for yet another horror project. The Criblore anthology will feature stories with witches, vamps, demons, and more with Black people at the center of them all. Using the swamps and beaches of her native South Florida as the setting, this is an indie project to look out for. Criblore is coming this spooky season. 

LaDarrion Williams

Playwright and screenwriter LaDarrion Williams caught eyes with Blood at the Root, a Black fantasy short film. It follows Malik, a New Orelans-based HBCU student who is caught up in a world of magic. Witches, Hoodoo, and more interweave into this story, which is set to become a YA novel.

Bianca Malcolm

Malcolm’s short horror film Transform(Her) is one of thirteen picks for Nyx Horror’s “13 Minutes of Horror” list. The one-minute films are all on Shudder right now and this one is a true standout. The story is about a group of aliens who invade a department store and try to craft the perfect woman. However, things are not what they seem for a shocking twist. 

Deanna Gomez

Another “13 Minutes of Horror” finalist and talented creative, Deanna Gomez shook us up with Mother. But she’s perhaps better known for A Bad Feeling Horror Podcast and being a part of the trio of hosts known as the Write or Die Chicks. Anytime we can hear Black and Latina women talking about horror, it is a great thing. 

Jim Vendiola 

An award-winning writer/director, Warner Media 150 Artist, and development executive, it’s not shocking that Vendiola’s horror comedy short Pretty Pickle is making the festival rounds. There’s several works of art under this celebrated indie creator’s belt, so get ready to expand your list. 

Nikyatu Jusu

Jusu’s horror offerings like Nanny ( coming to Prime Video in December) and her Sundance stunner Suicide by Sunlight make her an indie filmmaker to watch. Her stories have a way of grabbing the viewer and refusing to release them from a few unexpected turns. 

Jeff Barnaby

Barnaby—a Mi’gmaq creator—films are primarily through Indigenous characters, which is a wonderful thing considering horror’s quite racist history when it comes to including their stories. Blood Quantum (currently on Shudder) isn’t new but it is certainly worth adding to your list with a story about the dead coming back to life outside the isolated Mi’gmaq reserve of Red Crow. The only people who are safe are the Indigenous people who are immune.

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