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Project: S.E.R.A. (2012)

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A young woman wakes up in an abandoned warehouse as armed soldiers torture her father with an experimental biological weapon.

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Gillean Eames
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Guard #1 (as Travis Merindino)
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A young woman wakes up in an abandoned warehouse as armed soldiers torture her father with an experimental biological weapon.

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15 February 2012 (USA)  »

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Punchy little short which delivers the scenario well
18 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A young woman wakes up strapped to a chair opposite her father, who is being beaten by a small group of men demanding information on a missing biological agent.

Like a lot of short films, plotting is not always something that totally stands up because there isn't time to fully flesh everything out and answer every question in the rush to deliver what the film is aiming at. In this case the film is a sort of mini-Resident Evil where the heroine is forced to escape from the company holding her and her father while also having to deal with an infected. Just like her, we start the film with very little information and what little we have is drip fed to us in the middle of other things going on – it will leave the viewer with questions and the desire to know more, but this isn't a massive problem because that is what holds the attention for the first half of the film. The action and of course the sense of conspiracy makes the second half work just as well and it is dramatic and well filmed to get the most out of the budget.

Director Howdeshell deserves credit for the filming here because the camera does a lot of the work. Deciding to have flashforwards within the film is a nice addition because it makes this a bigger story almost by implication and it did make me want to come back to Jill's story. Speaking of Jill the casting of Voth is clever since she did voice a similar character in one of the Resident Evil video games; it also helps that she is very easy on the eye and has the sort of figure that is generally used for female action leads. Keiffer is equally as effective – a stuntman by trade he is gruff and makes a good presence throughout the film.

Project SERA is a nice little short film that gets by on strong delivery of a simple idea. The bigger picture questions are interesting and I guess may mean more to Resident Evil players – I cannot say as I have never really played that franchise but they did aid my interest in this film while watching. The key question is whether it made me want more and it definitely achieved that.


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