Blaze and Be Afraid: Must-Watch Horror Animators for the Ultimate High

Horror is a genre that hits just right for some and completely fucks up others. It’s like doing dabs, if you think about it.

Movies, TV, books, podcasts and live showings provide us with a wealth of horror classics and new entries to enjoy, particularly after lighting up one or several joints. But much like innovations in consumption tech, horror has evolved to include a new class of productions to enjoy.

Digital animators have thrived over the years, creating massive online platforms and expanding the reach of animators and designers. Many are now the creators of some of the best visuals in films and video games–and it all can be found on social media.

After conducting years of exhaustive research, aka getting high and watching scary stuff online, these are some of my top horror animators to check out. 

Lights Are Off

First up is the animator that kickstarted my most recent plunge into horror mediums: Lights Are Off

Holiday season 2021 is when I came across a wonderfully horrifying video featuring Krampus, and I thought to myself, “I need to see more of the hellscapes this animator has envisioned.” And I’ve never been happier with my decision.

Lights Are Off delivers a portfolio of diverse scares. Shorts include horrific injections into regular happenings, like going to a parade, taking the kids to the aquarium, traveling across the Bay, paddle boarding, working on the farm, and many others. Thalassophobia, or the fear of deep water, is a commonly explored topic by Lights Are Off and several others on the list. 

Be sure to check out shorts on classic figures like The Easter Bunny. Stick around for the weird stuff, too, like the smiling creep at the window and the murderous fungus

Check out Lights Are Out on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. Their monster survival game, Zoonomaly, is expected to drop in the coming weeks.

Borisao Blois

Borisao Blois can make anyone fear the water. Fan of ice fishing? Let Blois’ horror shorts fill your mind with scenarios that definitely can’t happen, right? Enjoy scuba diving? Think again after Blois delivers deep sea fears with Cthulu, ningens and other frights. If you’re seeking a more extended dose of deep-sea scares, I recommend checking out Blois’ The Bloop vs. El Gran Majá. It will conjure up oceanic Godzilla or Clash of the Titans vibes.

While I’ve been shouting out Blois ocean-based horrors, their work using sci-fi, quasi-reality, nightscapes, manga and others highlights the capabilities of this talented animator. 

Check out Borisao Blois’ work on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.

David Firth

Back in the day, way back, like 2005, viral content wasn’t as commonly sourced—especially in the WTF category. So, when we got weird shit, we held onto it. One of the earliest viral entries my stoned friends and I came across was David Firth’s Salad Fingers. It freaked the shit out of us. 

Maybe it was because I had just started smoking weed, and two hits got me feeling like several dabs would today. Or, perhaps it was because 2008 was a less crazy time—we hadn’t even gotten designer drug-addled zombies by then. 

But folks flipped out when Salad Fingers hit the likes of Ebaumsworld and Newgrounds. Not because it was anything over the top or shocking. It was just weird—and at 18 and newly into weed, strange was enough to get the job done. Then again, this is the opinion of a dude who thought Donnie Darko was deep and coherent for several years. 

Firth’s continued at Salad Fingers over the years while launching various other shows through his Fat Pie productions.

Steve Cutts

Steve Cutts is a well-known UK-based animator and illustrator. At it for over a decade, Cutts has rightfully earned a significant following using the horrors of man as a driving theme. Be it visual or still image, Cutts’ work places the blame at humanity’s feet through an array of striking scenes of what we’ve done to the planet and what future generations have inherited

Additional works from Cutts highlight other horrifying aspects of life, including the rigors of the daily rat race. You may also be frightened by the electronic remix of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, but that’s a different kind of scary creation. 

And in less horrifying scenes, Cutts’ Anytime is ice cream time is a wonderfully trippy meets tragic journey from the delicious treats’ perspective.

Check out Steve Cutts’ work on YouTube and Instagram.


Aleksey__N is a 3D artist and designer who creates a range of stunning horror mixed with sci-fi and action. Aleksey’s tragic scenes from the Golden Gate Bridge could dupe a few stoned friends or family members who love posting hate about the area on Facebook—until Godzilla shows up. But what truly stands out are the graphics. The high-quality 3D works are some of the more realistic, top-notch works around.

Aleksey__N’s work spans genres and scenes, often mixing reality and fantasy in the form of sci-fi, destruction, and two of my personal favorites: dinosaurs and megalodons. And they provided the long-sought-after proof confirming the moon landing was fake

Check out Aleksey__N’s work on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Alex Howard

I’m a massive fan of Alex Howard’s depictions of everyday frustrating scenes, like when your flight has to take caution of 50-foot humanoid skeletons roaming nearby. Or, when your perfectly curated snow shoveling job is ruined by some kid and a bunch of debris getting sucked up into a UFO

Howard’s dark world contains a range of giant monsters and forces, including a massive electromagnetic Wechuge that would be awesome to see from a reasonable distance away. 

Check out Alex Howard’s work on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Simone Vezzani

Simone Vezzani is an Italian visual artist who makes some of the more stunningly jarring scenes on the list. Vezzani’s collection of striking dark art ranges from bodily damage and mutilations to scenes that would make most of us stop, say ‘what the fuck,’ and then crap our pants

Vezzani’s work is some of the most realistic, striking animations I’ve encountered, blending classic art, everyday scenes and other familiar settings with surreal concepts that veer into horror and sci-fi.

Check out Simone Vezzani’s work on TikTok, Vimeo, Instagram and Twitter.

Shortest Blockbusters

Shortest Blockbusters’ multitude of nightmares is wide-ranging and often contains more than one type of scare in many shorts. 

There are a ton of different types of horror going on with this creator. I’d recommend starting on some scenes featuring Sasquatch, half-decayed giants, Santa, murderous muñecas, underwater mega beast fights, big ol’ creeps in the dark, wendigos and even some famous faces like Michael Meyers and Ghostface

Keep stumbling down the rabbit hole, and you’ll find tons more—including moving depictions of Iran as citizens clash with leadership over women’s civil rights in the country. 

With stellar, diverse works and millions of followers on social media, it’s no wonder Shortest Blockbusters has partnered with major film studios, music groups and video game studios. 

Check out Shortest Blockbusters on TikTok, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Discover More

And that’s the list, though not in its entirety. Use this list to help kick things off for your trip down the horror rabbit hole. I could keep going, but this list has to end somewhere. 

Now, it’s up to you—and me if my editors want a second installment created. But for now, it’s up to you. 

Explore the depths online for yourself. Do what most of us do best, and start doom scrolling on your favorite social apps. Those algorithms will catch on soon enough and start delivering these and other animators to ya’ real soon. And isn’t that really the scariest thing on this list?

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