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The Independent Critic

Ellis E. Fowler, Zaria Simone, John F. Thomas, Omari Washington
Ellis E. Fowler, Matt Lorenzo (Co-director)
John F. Thomas, Ellis E. Fowler
9 Mins.


 "Emotical" Continues on Indie Fest Circuit 
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Currently nominated for two Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards, including Best Ensemble cast and Best Direction, the post-apocalyptic/dystopian 9-minute short film Emotical sets itself in a world where machines are taking over the world and the few humans alive are fighting for survival against them. 

To fully appreciate Emotical, it helps to grasp its vital tag line - "To overcome the deadly robotic invasion, they must first overcome themselves," a key factor that comes to life for right around the first half of this sci-fi meets human drama. The film's ensemble cast, which includes director/co-writer Ellis E. Fowler, co-writer/producer John F. Thomas, Zaria Simone, and Omari Washington, brings to life characters who may very well prove to be their own greatest obstacles as they fight to survive both their pasts with one another and this tech-driven force that is taking over the world and perfectly willing to leave them behind. 

Emotical is a tough film to peg, a complex and layered film that tries to accomplish a lot in its relatively sparse 9-minute running time. The film drops us inside an enemy base where this ragtag, often conflict-ridden group of resistance fighters seek to secure a sequence of codes that could defeat Arch-One and save mankind. It's clear from the film's opening moments that these fighters have had their own battles within and amongst themselves. Vincent Patin's lensing is intentionally dense and immersive, accompanying a color scheme that hints at the kind of post-apocalyptic aura we've come to expect from this type of scenario. 

To be sure, the ambitious Emotical occasionally tries too hard and that low-budget shows itself from time to time in scene transitions and a difficult to deal with sound mix that mutes a dramatic impact that would help drive the film's story home. However, it's hard to find fault with ambitious, engaging cinema that takes chances and delivers a fair amount of excitement along the way. If you get a chance to check it out along its indie fest circuit, Emotical is worth your time. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic