Only a few weeks after Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) debuted his new production company Oats Studios with an exciting and confusing trailer for their new project, we already have the first installment. The first short film from their up-and-coming experimental studio, science-fiction short Rakka, has dropped on YouTube, and man, is it weird.
Rakka follows a group of human survivors as they attempt to resist a highly advanced alien species that has conquered Earth. The aliens are terraforming the planet using methane, and experimenting heavily on any humans they capture. The aliens are able to mind-control humanity, and they are exceptionally cruel to the people they’ve conquered. There’s talk of a revolution, humans with psychic abilities and even a possible second alien race that has apparently come from somewhere beyond the stars to save humanity.
It’s hard to qualify Rakka as a story in the traditional sense. Presented in three parts, the film shows a series of vignettes from different perspectives about the occupation. Sigourney Weaver plays a very Ripley-esque badass here in a couple of the parts, and hers looks to be the most central character so far. The film has no definitive end—nor any clear answers—so it seems likely that Volume II will continue the bare-bones story given here.
The animation in this short looks so good, it’s almost frustrating. If this is the level of quality possible, why do our big-budget movies look so terrible? The Ares/Wonder Woman battle in the recent Wonder Woman film looked like a fairly mediocre videogame cutscene. But in Rakka, not only do they render massive, impressive alien skyscrapers, ships and reptilian aliens, they integrate all of these elements with realistic explosions, gore effects and live actors. It’s mind-bogglingly well-done, and a real challenge to the rushed special effects in so many big-budget blockbusters.
Check out the full short above, and click here to purchase the film and support Oats Studios.