I like myself some Metroid. I also like myself some fan films. So while checking my Facebook feed, I stumbled upon a link to Rainfall Films’ Metroid: The Sky Calls short film. I have to say I was thoroughly impressed by the film and the fact Facebook finally did something good for me.
Metroid: The Sky Calls clocks in at just 11 minutes long. It’s short, but very sweet. It tells a complete story, the entire thing summons the feel of Metroid games with their lonesome atmosphere, calls upon the vastness of space as something is nigh unfathomable, and has visual and special effects that harken back to sci-fi films such as Flight of the Navigator, Contact, and the first Alien. The movie sports a neat grainy film filter and some excellent CGI animation that would and should make Hollywood insecure.
The only character present is Samus Aran (portrayed by Jessica Chobot in live action; stunts and motion capture portrayed by America Young). The one-woman show adds to the sense of lonesomeness. The setting is unpleasant, gray, rocky, and plain old inhospitable to life. There are also some serious moments of tension in the short film. The pacing is just right, building from mysterious to action-packed to awe inspiring in that order.
What I really enjoy about this film is Samus’ character and how Chobot portrayed her. She has a personality that is curious, cautious, and courageous. She displays gratitude towards her Chozo benefactors, the aliens that adopted and raised her from early childhood after Ridley and the space pirates destroyed her home colony. She expresses sorrow about the Chozo’s disappearance from the galaxy without melodrama. She’s a sincere, serious, armor wearing, arm cannon firing warrior. This is the Samus Metroid fans love and deserve.
Fans of Metroid will recognize elements from the game, such as Samus’ Gunship and the Morph Ball. They will also recognize some of the music. But the film is also very open to non-fans as well. There’s very little exposition: and by very little, I mean there’s just enough to set up the plot and explain why Samus is at a barren rock. Her backstory gets a brief, one sentence explanation, and that’s about it. The visuals, the tone, the atmosphere, and music tell the majority of the story.
I wish I could say more about this film, but I can’t because it’s so short and I don’t want to give anymore away than I already have. I know I’m probably giving Metroid: The Sky Calls a lot of blind praise, but it deserves blind praise because the team at Rainfall Films’ delivered a good product that will appeal to fans and film-buffs alike at the very least, plus I like praising quality when I see it.
If you have ten minutes and want to watch a well-designed short film, or are a Metroid fan (like myself) wanting to see our beloved bounty hunter do what she does best, then this short film is worth seeing.