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Film / Rakka

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"They came here to exterminate us".

"I wonder if deep down, each person knows we're already dead. I wonder if only one, sick primordial instinct keeps marching us forward aimlessly. Every rational thought tells us it's over. Every vile, deceptive, chemical, emotion tells us it isn't."

Rakka is a 2017 short film from Oats Studios. In the near future, a race of reptile-like aliens have invaded Earth, killing or enslaving most of humanity. What remains of the human population is engaged in a guerilla war against the invaders, taking what small victories they can and just trying to survive.

This film provides examples of:

  • Alien Abduction: They don't take their victims off-planet, but they do experiment on captive humans, with grisly results.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: In addition to performing grotesque medical experiments on captives, the invaders use humans as slave labour and as surrogate incubators for their young. They're also shown exulting over the dismembered corpses of humans as they burn at the stake, and have covered entire landmarks (the Eiffel Tower is shown) in dying humans.
  • Anachronic Order: Presumably because some of what we see is through Amir's prophetic visions.
  • Anti-Air: A militiaman firing from a Technical is able to down one of the alien aircraft. It's implied he was put in the right place to do so thanks to Amir.
  • Body Horror:
    • The results of the alien experiments. They implant humans with mechanical-looking devices, which may exert a form of mind control in some cases. The implants seethe with the oily ferrofluid-like matter that seems to make up much of the invaders' technology.
    • The result of the politician's "surgery". The large bulges seem to be twitching.
    • When Amir removes his hood, he has alien cybernetic machinery implanted in his head and back.
    • Surgeons are shown operating on a screaming man who has become contaminated with alien matter which keeps morphing during the surgery.
  • Blatant Lies: The aliens do head surgery on a human politician and send him shambling through the Ruins of the Modern Age, barefoot and wearing a tattered suit, mindlessly yelling obvious canned lines like “They have built a conservatory!” or “They only want what is best for us!”.
  • Cold Equation: Nosh is building an "item" that the Resistance wants, but Nosh refuses to hand it over. Jasper claims everything is up for negotiation. So Nosh asks for human "bait" that he can use for an ambush. Jasper appears to refuse, but the scene in Chapter One implies they did eventually agree to Nosh's demand.
    Sarah: Some sick people in exchange for Nosh's item. In peacetime such an offer would be insane. Immoral. But now, anything's possible.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • As with other contemporary Alien Invasion movies, we have metaphors for environmental destruction (the aliens are burning forests, causing Global Warming and poisoning the atmosphere) and The War on Terror (suicide bombers engaged in asymmetric warfare against an occupying force).
    • In Chapter One the alien breeding facility is described as "worse than Hell", but an angel-like being is said to be humanity's savior.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Amir was discarded as a failed alien experiment. While some want him mercy-killed as a Humanoid Abomination, Sarah tries to befriend Amir in the belief that his implants have given him the power to see the future and "do the things [the aliens] do".
  • Hopeless War: Any rational assessment is that Resistance Is Futile, but humans fight out of survival instinct because even surrender and collaboration would lead to A Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Hostile Terraforming: The Klum have built vast megastructures which pump methane into the atmosphere, and their own crops are choking native plant life. Global temperatures are rising, causing floods, and on top of this they're burning whole forests down.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen
    Sarah: (narrating) We were once Mankind...humanity. And now? We are no more than pets...vermin.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: The aliens are able to exert mind control over humans through eye contact.
  • Idiot Savant: Susan believes people like Amir are like this, making them useless for the aliens' experiments but potential weapons for the Resistance.
  • La Résistance: Remnants of humanity are fighting back against the invaders, even though their best efforts are only pinpricks that invite further retaliation.
  • Lizard Folk: The Klum are humanoids with heads somewhere between a cobra and a crocodile, and the teeth of a leatherback turtle. To ramp up the alienness, they have well over a dozen small black eyes, and a smaller second pair of arms beneath the first.
  • Mind over Matter: The aliens are capable of, among other things, telekinesis. It's unstated if its an innate ability or something technological, though it's likely to be the latter, seeing as the alien's experimental implants on Amir have given him some level of psychic power.
  • Monument of Humiliation and Defeat: The Eiffel Tower is shown covered in thousands of dying humans.
    The Narrator: The wail of the dying carried for miles.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The movie takes place in the year 2020, three years after its release date.
  • Nothing but Skulls: An alien tosses the skull from a failed experiment into a huge underground chamber filled with the bones of previous experiments.
  • Organic Technology: Or perhaps nanotech; it's used to build huge megastructures or surgical knives alike.
  • Precision F-Strike: After the alien pilot is gunned down, Jasper orders the militiamen to "Cut its fucking head off".
  • Prophet Eyes: Amir's eyes slowly turn white as he sees the future.
  • Psychic Block Defense: The resistance manufactures headgear that blocks the aliens' Mind Control. They can't make enough for everyone, however, and the invaders know this. When one soldier gets his brain-barrier knocked off, the alien is able to get him to turn his gun on the others.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending:
    • The first chapter ends with a convoy being ambushed, but the Sole Survivor has a vision of an incorporeal angel-like being, said by The Narrator to be humanity's "saviors".
    • The final chapter shows the militia have shot down and killed an alien pilot, albeit at the cost of one of their own men, and the movie ends with Sarah urging Amir to use his abilities to help them.
  • Suicide Attack: A woman attempts to use a suicide bomb against an alien patrol. The aliens recognize that she's carrying explosives and shoot her before she can get close enough, but she does succeed in preventing them from noticing the other bomb set up by Nosh, which he detonates, successfully destroying the patrol. Possibly this was the plan all along.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Deconstructed with Nosh, a Pyromaniac and Mad Bomber. He's glad the invasion happened, because now he can burn whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He's good at scavenging electronic junk and using it to build brain-barriers, but the Resistance regard him as Necessarily Evil who would be locked up in any sane world. Part of this evil is providing him with The Bait to set bigger booby traps, people who are too sick to fight so can be expended in suicide attacks.

"Please tell me; what futures do you see?"