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District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is back with a series of short sci-fi films, clocking in at about 20 minutes each. He’s posting them under the umbrella title of Oats Studios, and the first one just arrived. Rakka is an alien invasion story starring Sigourney Weaver, available on YouTube if you want to watch something disturbing during your lunch break.
Weaver plays the leader of a group survivors in a dystopian future setting. An alien invasion has ravaged the Earth, massacring the human population and making much of the planet uninhabitable. It’s exactly the kind of scenario you’d expect from the mind of Neill Blomkamp, offering ample opportunity for interesting worldbuilding and visual effects, both in terms of CGI and practical elements.
The aliens are genuinely creepy, and there’s a fair amount of gore (we’d give this film an R rating), but overall it’s not as experimental as we expected from Blomkamp’s initial announcement. While there’s plenty to enjoy here, Rakka follows a premise we’ve seen many times before: an allegory for the horrors of colonization, starring white people as the heroes and reptilian aliens as the invading force.
Blomkamp plans to release three more short films between now and the end of July. They’re all separate stories, but he could continue them all in Volume 2, depending on how much money they make through fan donations.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor