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Alien-esque sci-fi short film Atropa is a mystery wrapped in a gritty, retro-future

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Jan 9, 2015, 12:37 PM EST

If the glossiness of modern sci-fi is making you jones for simpler days on ships like the Nostromo, then this intriguing new sci-fi short film, Atropa, is what you’ve been waiting for. 

Directed by Eli Sasich (HENRi) and written by Clay Tolbert (from a story by both), the short film follows a detective sent into deep space to investigate the disappearance of a research ship. But, instead of finding something as straightforward as aliens, the detective makes a discovery that only leads to a whole lot more questions. The effects work and acting are top-notch, especially considering the low budget and cast of unknowns.

Sasich describes the 9+ minute short as a proof of concept for a larger tale about an offworld detective tasked with investigating the missing research vessel Atropa. The short takes a lot of big sci-fi swings, and it nails just about every one of them. We’d definitely love to see what he could do with a feature-length film on the topic. Seriously, this is an excellent short.

Here’s what Sasich told Blastr about the project:

"We made this short as a proof-of-concept for the feature version that we already have written. The idea was born out of my love for the dark and gritty sci-fi movies of the '70s and '80s. Films like Alien and Blade Runner definitely informed the visual style and tone, but I especially like the fact that they are strong character stories. Our film follows that lead, with a new and unique take on some classic themes. I'm really excited about where we go with it -- the cliffhanger ending of the short is only the setup to a much larger human mystery."

Check out the short film below and let us know what you think:

(Via Eli Sasich)