There’s not much story to “It began without warning”; it’s more about the immediate and intense thrills and the completely unanswered questions, thrown into a quick and tense 5-minute short. One could imagine that this piece is simply a “proof-of-concept” film with the hopes of something bigger down the road. What the writing/directing duo of Santiago Tapia and Jessica Curtright figured out is that while tension is necessary in a horror short, it doesn’t need to be built through the traditional horror toolkit that overuses musical cues, red herrings, and jump scares. Most of these films are long stretches of nothing, awaiting that frightening something. Instead Tapia & Cartwright optimize for action. What if you lead with the bloody baseball bat, and build tension through the mystery of what it means? There is a refreshing directness that extends to all aspects of the production: the violence is visceral and practical. While most of the gore is not directly imaged, it’s a very straight-forward and causal relationship between the shots. The film borrows heavily from child horror classics like Children of the Corn and Village of the Damned, but it also takes a hearty cue from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.