From Paul of Strangers in a Cinema:

Overall it's a fantastic little horror film that achieves more in six
minutes than many films achieve in two hours, well worth a

Read the full review.

Bill Chete of Horror Palace:

I love it.

See &* Hear Joe's Interview with Bill Chete here!

From Hari Navarro of The Hellstreet Journal:

"Joseph Christiana’s Nightmare is initially deceptive in that it
belies its universally affecting premise. This is the art, the
challenge of film in its short form. To grip an audience and over
the course of a few miserly minutes transport them. To expertly
upend the expected and leave the viewer with a slight of hand
slice of life that resonates. The Nightmare does just this within
its six minute black and white study in abject helplessness. This
fear is here cleverly examined by the director through visual
queues that are instantly recognizable as horror cinema

A child (played here by the director’s young son) finds himself
dropped into a color and dialog bleached landscape that is at
once familiar and terrifyingly alien. A faceless menace stalks the
boy as he flees from the inescapable. A hammer clenched firmly
within his iron grip and with a pace that never falters this surely
malevolent entity closes in on its pray.

A shuffling of location and the introduction of duo of decidedly
ambivalent additional characters signals a wonderful
constriction of the plot as its double meanings spiral into one.
The Nightmare admirably holds tight to its simplicity never
allowing its impetus to spiral needlessly into the convoluted.
Thus leading us to a finale from which we find our minds reeling
backward to the very first frame. We watch it again this time
dressed in its freshly revealed context and the piece takes on
entirely new meaning. This again is a goal toward which many
short films aspire. The trickery, the clever twisting of conventional
thought that leaves an audience contentedly fooled. A job well

From Dave Pace of Fangoria:

(Christiana's) short film The Nightmare is a taut, clever and
potent short which both disturbed and entertained me and has
won a lot of acclaim in the indie festival circuit including the
Montreal Underground Film Festival as well as becoming a
YouTube favourite.

Christiana shows us all that the time of the “big idea” people is
arriving by producing a top shelf piece of film with great visuals,
great sound design and most of all an engrossing and smart
story while doing a complete end-run around the creative
establishment. Did I mention he does all this without any real
dialogue? Oh yeah, he does that too.

Read the full
interview with Fangoria.

From Mike Everleth of Badlit:

"Christiana takes a couple generic horror standards and an easy
“target” to generate suspense, i.e. a child in peril, but keeps the
largely wordless story moving along at a nice clip to get the
audience quickly hooked. Shooting in B&W gives the film an
eerie, otherworldly feel so that when the scenes shift abruptly, it’s
easy to go along for the ride.

The perspective also changes quite frequently, easily shifting
from taking the victim’s perspective to put the audience into his
young, terrified shoes to showing us his reactions to the horrible
visions he must face. For a virtually wordless film, Christiana
does a great job getting audience to identify with the main
character and allows us to reflect on our own fears that we all
faced in childhood.

There’s also lots of other nice things working strongly in the film’s
favor, from the the spooky, almost background-noise-like
soundtrack to the really creative ending. The film’s only about six
minutes long, but Christiana packs a good amount of terror into it
and manages that short time wisely by making every shot really

From Forbidden Planet International

Ah, what better way to start a new working weekend than by
delving into a surrealist, disturbing series of sequences? Joseph
Christiana‘s The Nightmare is a very intriguing, well executed
short horror-fantasy film that uses its brief running time well to
weave a series of odd, surreal, nightmare sequences together as
a young boy is pursued by … something … Stick with it to the end
– there’s effective dream-logic sequences that disturb nicely,
some good horror-fantasy imagery and excellent use of sound
right from the start, leading up to a satisfying climax, a very
effective piece of short film craft. You can check out more on
Joseph’s website with links to other works, interviews and film
podcasts he takes part in.
a short film by Joseph Christiana

Tormented by one surreal, terrifying predicament after another, a boy is confronted with his inner fear. As the air becomes harder and
harder to breath, as his tormentors become stranger and press in closer, the boy begins to realize the true nature of his situation.