Greetings from the Nether Realm,
Director Neill Blomkamp has proven himself time and again as an innovative director, bringing to life such films as District 9 (2009), Elysium (2013), and Chappie (2015). It was rumored a few years ago that Blomkamp was working on an Alien (1979) film that would continue the franchise directly picking up where James Cameron’s Aliens (1986) left off. Such characters as Michael Biehn’s Corporal Hicks and Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley were due to reprise their roles. However, after the considerable backlash and critical polarization concerning Elysium and Chappie, it seemed that the Alien project was all but lost in developmental hell.
When OATS Studios was announced, and it was confirmed that Neill Blomkamp would be directing several short horror and science fiction films, many moviegoers and fans alike were thrilled to see what the polarizing director could bring to the table. He did not disappoint.
The first chapter of the first volume for OATS Studios is a short titled, “Rakka,” starring, you guessed it, Sigourney Weaver. It follows humanity’s resistance to an alien invasion, where the extra-terrestrial beings experiment and torture humans in ways that are both grotesque and enthralling. Blomkamp’s signature direction is at play here, housing many fantastic and nail-biting sequences while also never finding reluctance in showing brutal imagery that can make viewers of a weaker stomach queasy.
The feelings of hopelessness and chaos ensue rather quickly, as we delve deeper into the makings of these monsters. Several events occur that prelude to a sequel in Volume 2, as is the uniform occurrence in each short. The CGI is fantastic in this short film, the aliens never short of seeming authentic and terrifying. “Rakka” brings a whole new level of fear for alien invasion to the screen, making it difficult to imagine how our species could ever survive against such vile and disgusting creatures.
The practical effects that Blomkamp is known for, and his propensity for realistic gore, are both on display here. The visceral nature of the violence compliments the director’s previous work, once more emphasizing the director’s knack for combining beautiful cinematography with unsettling events onscreen. The plot is interesting enough and definitely keeps the viewers anxious and excited for the next installment.
OUR RATING: 4/5
Watch the full short film here: