Red Skies (2013) short film review

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A Finnish science fiction short film, Red Skies takes the idea of Looper and places it on both the moon and the planet Mars. Read the review after the jump.

Red Skies starts by informing the viewers of a law in the future. Apparently, Order 49859 in the Red Skies Doctrine states that all traitors and enemies of the state are to be executed on the spot. If their crime is only found out at a later date, they are to be sent through time and space to the scene of the crime and executed there.

A problem I found with that last rule is simply, why would you waste funding on sending them back to be executed, when they could just be executed on the spot? Yet the rule comes into play.

We start off on the moon which, for some reason, looks like a snowy forest in Finland. A group of soldiers in gas masks are stood around a leader of some sort. A hooded person then appears in the snow from nowhere and is executed by the leader.

Fast-forward some years and the leader is now on Mars and is paid a visit by a female who is wearing stockings and suspenders, as well as the obligatory gas mask. red skies pic 300x190 Red Skies (2013) short film review

While most of the ideas seems completely ripped off from 2012’s Looper (Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon Levitt), Red Skies does a good job at having a nice little twist.

There is no talking in Red Skies at all, and the sound design is rather poor – the background cuts off in places and in one shot, we can hear the creaking of the camera that someone is holding. They obviously used the camera’s built in mic instead of using a boom and a separate sound recorder. There really isn’t any colouring to the film and, if there is, it is very subtle.

Some of the visual effects are nicely done, especially the appearing and disappearing of criminals. We are left with a few niggles though, the leader doesn’t need to wear a gas mask like the others on the moon and Mars, and he also has a robot hand, due to him moving it and the mechanical sound effects – is he a robot? And if so, why is he as fragile as a human. This is not explained. Also, why stick in Bridal Chorus by Wagner (a well-known wedding song)? What did the song represent?

The acting was non-existent, but you have to commend all of the crew for making this five minute short with only 20 Euros apparently. Sampo Silvennoinen writes, directs and even stars and, while it isn’t a bad film, it could have been a lot better.

Red Skies has a good idea, but it was executed (pun intended) amateurishly.

2.5 / 5 stars     

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