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EwTube: Sweet Sci-Fi Shorts

EwTube: Sweet Sci-Fi Shorts


Everyone loves some sci-fi now and again, right? Unfortunately, the genre seems to be completely hit-or-miss at the box office, with the likes of Avatar and, more recently, The Force Awakens smashing record after record, while there are other films like Dredd which struggle despite their quality. So a lot of production companies are iffy about greenlighting genre films, and if they do they’re typically given a fairly small budget, as in the case of Ex Machina. Sometimes the best place to look for those hidden sci-fi gems is right at your very fingertips, by independent film-makers on YouTube.

Metroid: The Sky Calls

Please, just give me a real Metroid game. Please, Nintendo. I don’t even mind Federation Force – I actually think it looks quite fun – but we deserve another proper Metroid game. Until then, though, this short will have to scratch that itch. Visually it’s stunning, with some truly cinematic shots and a grainy filter applied to everything to make it appear like the classic sci-fi films that the series took inspiration from. The production design is great too, with things like monitors and the technology inside Samus’ ship having a retro-futuristic quality that fits right in with the chunky, janky look of Alien too. I’m not too fond of Jessica Chobot‘s Samus, but it’s only a short film so it doesn’t bother me too much. The Metroid series has some real potential to make a great movie – even quite an adult one, dealing with the isolation and loneliness of deep space and wandering around the ruins of long-gone civilizations, and this short is a glimpse at something that could be great.

Killzone Intercept

I’m no great fan of the Killzone series – in fact, I only ever played a little bit of the third game’s multiplayer. This short is damn good even without being a fan, though. It looks fantastic, and it’s a lot more bombastic than our previous entry. It looks slicker too; much more modern with the desaturated palette that brings. Though, thankfully, there’s less obvious CGI in this film. It’s the longest film on this list because there’s a lot more going on – a lot of actors were involved in this project, with full squads of ISA and Helghast going up against each other. The prop and armour work is excellent, and the action is well-choreographed throughout. It’s just an excellent 15 minute chunk of solid military sci-fi action, and well worth a watch for anyone whether you’re a fan of the game series or not.

The Silent City

Time for things to take a dark turn with this post-apocalyptic piece starring Cillian Murphy. The Silent City really takes advantage of the short film format by not answering all of the questions it raises. What is the city? What happened to it? Are there other cities out there like it? Who are the soldiers fighting for, or even against? Are there even other humans out there? What the hell is with that ending? The acting is no slouch either, with a real sense of crushing despair and agony at several points throughout. It’s foreboding, gruesome, grimy, dark, mysterious and easily worth seven minutes or so of your time.


This, more than any others on the list, I would like to see turned into a feature-length film. Some of you will already know of special effects gurus Corridor Digital, but a lot of you may not have seen one of the first videos they uploaded to their channel. The special effects work is great, as is to be expected, but the core concept of the film could be spun off into something awesome. I would love to see a fully-fledged story based on this; Mirror’s Edge-style parkour resistance fighters using a teleportation device to fight against mega-corporations in a cyberpunk city. That sounds awesome, right? Unfortunately the short is all we’ve got, so I guess I’ll just keep torturing myself with the knowledge that what’s in my head will never be real. It’s a really well-shot piece, very slick and, above all else, colourful, in contrast to the darkness of the past three films. The score is bloody great too, adding a lot to the atmosphere of the film, although I’m sure it would stand just as well on its own.