"We are the cleaners. As were our fathers. We purify the world. One day our children will breathe…" Neill Blomkamp's experimental sci-fi filmmaking collective Oats Studios has surprised us all with a brand new short film titled Migrants. After making their own series of short films, Oats sort of moved on because they couldn't secure enough funding and figure out how to move forward independently. But they're back again with what they've self-described as "Oats Studios Presents Short Films From Artists We Love." Migrants is a short film by Paul Chadeisson, a concept artist who has envision a three-minute short with some stunning CGI visuals of spaceships and space stations hovering above a planet awaiting immigrants. As a space nerd, this is my kind of sci-fi: Isaac Asimov references, and a lovely poetic voiceover about colonizing the cosmos.
Uh oh! What if all the Terminators got mixed up and were sent back in time and started hunting each other? That's the concept for this short film / fan mashup titled TS: TERMINATORS. Made by French filmmaker Fabrice Mathieu, he combines footage from all of the Terminator movies to create a brand new short about T-800s targeting each other. His "tribute to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terminator." It is impressive, the footage all syncs up and works together in just the right way to make this entertaining and thrilling to watch. It's cool that someone can take all kinds of existing footage and mash it up in a creative way to make something new, a great example of how editing matters so much making movies. Fire it up below and enjoy.
"There are people out there worth saving." Happy New Year! To kick things off with a highly anticipated 2020 movie, Paramount has debuted a full trailer for A Quiet Place: Part II, the sequel to John Krasinski and Emily Blunt's sci-fi monster thriller A Quiet Place from 2018. The sequel picks up right where the first film left off. Following the traumatic events at home (seen in the first movie), the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path. This trailer has hints of that. Starring Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe again. Newcomers appearing in this sequel include Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou, Wayne Duvall, and Lauren-Ashley Cristiano. Looks like a much bigger, much scarier continuation of the original, with plenty of the sound monsters creeping out and about in this.
"Initiate Project_Osprey." Skywatch is a fun, gripping sci-fi short film that is worth a quick watch. This is made by independent filmmaker Colin Levy, who previously worked at Pixar as a Camera & Staging Artist before jumping full-time into filmmaking himself. Skywatch isn't just a clever short, it's also a showcase for budding filmmakers. Levy also released a video that explains how they were able to get Jude Law to appear in their film. He's only there for a few seconds at the end, but it's a nice cameo and adds some gravitas to this project. Sometimes this kind of big name helps filmmakers get the attention they need to break in. Both videos are worth a watch, to see the short they made and a deep dive into how they made it. Skywatch is set in the near future when drone delivery is commonplace and some hacker kids take their jokes a little too far.
"All I have for you is a word: Tenet. It'll open the right doors. Some of the wrong ones, too…" Warner Bros has unveiled the first full trailer for Christopher Nolan's new movie, Tenet. There's also an extended Nolan prologue for Tenet playing in IMAX in front of Star Wars. No one entirely knows what Tenet is about yet, though it's said to be a sci-fi action movie on a global scale, involving time travel and the world of espionage. John David Washington stars, with one hell of an ensemble cast including Robert Pattinson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh, Clémence Poésy, Dimple Kapadia, Yuri Kolokolnikov, and of course Michael Caine. This is an enticing, mesmerizing first look - a lot to process, many different locations. What exactly is happening? Is he in the afterlife? Is time going backwards? Enjoy.
"This world belongs to me!" High Octane Pictures has released an official trailer for a Russian sci-fi movie titled A Rough Draft, formerly known as just The Draft. This super trippy, weird techno-thriller is about a video game designer who is stripped of his identity and then recruited by a mysterious group to be the gatekeeper of a multi-dimensional portal. He learns to open the portals to a variety of parallel worlds which represent alternative versions of Moscow: a steampunk Imperial Russia, a post-apocalyptic tropic resort world, a dystopian Gulag world, and a highly advanced utopian world. Over time, Kirill learns that our Earth is a rough draft, a setting for social experiments secretly staged by the government of the utopian world, in order to avoid our mistakes. Starring Nikita Volkov, Yevgeny Tkachuk, Olga Borovskaya, and Yulia Peresild. This looks like a crazy concept for a movie, perhaps just a bit too ambitious to pull it off properly.
"The universe is trying to tell you something - pay attention!" Oh yeah - take a big hit of this! Epic Pictures has debuted a full-length official trailer for a wacky, mesmerizing psychedelic thriller titled The Wave, the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Gille Klabin. This already premiered at Fantastic Fest and Screamfest this year, and will be available on VOD in January. Justin Long plays a man on the verge of a promotion takes a mysterious hallucinogenic drug that begins to tear down his reality and expose his life for what it really is. Seems to be a psychedelic parable about capitalism and the rat race we're all sucked into, a bit like Sorry to Bother You but way, way trippier. The full cast also includes Donald Faison, Tommy Flanagan, Sheila Vand, Katia Winter, Ronnie Gene Blevins, and Bill Sage. Uh yeah, so this looks damn good! Really want to see it, always keen on checking out twisted, unique indie concepts like this one. Dive right in.
"Call it fate. Call it luck. Call it karma… I believe that everything happens for a reason." Sony Pictures has unveiled the first official trailer for Jason Reitman's Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the next continuation of the original Ghostbusters series. This one is actually a direct sequel to the first two movies (from 1984 & 1989) and brings back the classic Ecto-1 and some of the original actors. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set in a small town, where a group of kids and a teacher discover various connections to the original Ghostbusters from 30 years ago. The main cast includes Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Paul Rudd; also featuring Bill Murray, Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Bokeem Woodbine, and Ernie Hudson. This plays like more of an introductory teaser, without showing any of the old cast, while reintroducing the Ecto-1 and all the new people. And it looks great! Especially when that siren noise drops.
"Mom… the stars are moving." 4Digital Media has debuted an official trailer for an eerie, scary sci-fi thriller titled Dark Encounter, the latest film from UK filmmaker Carl Strathie (his feature debut was the high concept space thriller Solis from last year). Written & directed by Strathie, Dark Encounter is about a family who starts to notice strange things - lights, sounds, weird things in the woods. All of this begins a year after their young daughter went missing, and might answer the question of where she went. The film stars Laura Fraser, Mel Raido, Alice Lowe, Sid Phoenix, Grant Masters, Vincent Regan, and Spike White. This looks a bit like most other aliens-in-the-woods thrillers, but there is a quality that makes it stand out.
"I will not allow you to take away my purpose." Epic Pictures & Dread have debuted an official trailer for an indie sci-fi thriller titled Automation, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Garo Setian. This crazy, fun sci-fi plays on the fear that robots will turn on us with a story about a simple workplace robot that turns into a killing machine. The bot's name is Auto, of course, and he turns violent when he discovers that he will be replaced by a more efficient model. Starring (human actors) Elissa Dowling, Parry Shen, Graham Skipper, Sarah French, and "Scream Queen" Sadie Katz. The practical robot is cool, but this looks so terribly cheesy and bad in every other way, like it was made for SyFy TV and not cinemas. Have fun.
"It's just a color… but it burns!" RLJE has unveiled an official US trailer for the indie sci-fi horror-thriller Color Out of Space, adapted from H.P. Lovecraft's short story of the same name. This premiered at TIFF first, then played at Fantastic Fest, and also at the Sitges, London, and Stockholm Film Festivals this fall, hitting theaters in January of 2020. A meteorite lands near a house in a small town, and releases a strange extraterrestrial color that starts to torment the locals. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hilliard, Elliot Knight, Josh C. Waller, Q'orianka Kilcher, and Tommy Chong. This super psychedelic, mesmerizing horror flick feels like it's from another time. It's a wild concept for a film - color as an invading force, but that's what makes this so wickedly good.
"RoboCop, Roboshmop… here comes a Robokid!" High Octane Pictures has debuted an official trailer for a super wacky, indie sci-fi film from Israel called Robot Awakening. Sometimes low budget, funky sci-fi comedies turn out good, sometimes they don't. This is the latter. The film was once known as OMG, I'm a Robot! and it first premiered at film festivals way back in 2016. The comedy is about a guy who randomly discovers he's actually a robot - then embarks on a quest to find his missing girlfriend. Yeah, not much going on here. Starring Yotam Ishay as Danny, with Hili Yalon, Tzahi Grad, Dror Keren, Inna Bakelman, Nelly Tagar, David Kigler, Ori Yaniv, and Rob Schneider. As bad as this looks, I can't help share the trailer as there's just something quirky and appealing about the way it looks that you must see. Check it out.