Oats Studios Film 'ADAM: The Mirror' is Dark and Creepy Like Their Previous Shorts

Thursday, 05 October 2017 - 6:15PM
Thursday, 05 October 2017 - 6:15PM
Oats Studios Film 'ADAM: The Mirror' is Dark and Creepy Like Their Previous Shorts
Oats Studios
Neill Blomkamp's new ADAM short, called The Mirror, has arrived, and it's taken the original vague premise of the first movie (made last year) and cranked it up to eleven. For anyone who's enjoyed Blomkamp's previous short films made through his Oats Studios project, there's plenty more to like here.

Where ADAM: Chapter 1 is clearly a disturbing sci-fi short film, it's deliberately bereft of any context. We see a bunch of humanoid robots that aren't particularly happy or familiar with their robot forms, and we're introduced to the world and the basic politics at play (humans will shoot at ADAM and his fellow bots if they don't do as they're told). But we don't get much more explanation as to what's going on.

See for yourself below:



Now, we have ADAM: The Mirror, which takes the very simple premise of the first film and essentially drops an awful lot of exposition in a few short scenes.

Turns out ADAM is some sort of terrorist or political prisoner, transplanted into a robotic body following a mind-wipe so that he could serve a sentence - a sentence which he's now been rescued from by the mysterious Needalus. We're still not exactly closer to figuring this whole story out, but at least now a story seems to be taking shape.

Check out the full short below from Oats Studios:



Neill Blomkamp is perfectly suited to this kind of bleak, emotional storytelling - ADAM: The Mirror is another example of his proven skill at getting emotional, human performances out of creatures that look inherently weird and off-putting, such as the prawns of District 9, the robots of Chappie, or Matt Damon in Elysium.

At the same time, ADAM: The Mirror still carries the feel of a tech demo, which is appropriate because that's exactly what this movie is. This is a chance for the team at Unity to show off, debuting their engine's ability to render effects in real time.

One of the big differences between ADAM: Chapter 1 and ADAM: The Mirror is the level of grime and dust the world has picked up - textures have become more complex, different lighting environments cast flickering shadows on character models, and intricate movements of tiny pieces of characters' robotic bodies show off just how many moving parts Unity can handle when properly put to task.

There's a notable absence of fully visible human faces which helps to hide the pitfalls of Uncanny Valley. Rendering realistic metal bodies is a lot easier than trying to do the same for organic tissue. Nevertheless, when we do see a more fleshy-looking character in the form of The Mirror herself, the animation is solid enough that you can almost trick yourself into thinking you're looking at a real human.

Ultimately, The Mirror is a satisfying follow-up to the original short film, and it'll be interesting to see where Blomkamp plans to take this saga next. Considering his other OAT Studios work, it's worth assuming that this probably won't have a happy ending.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies