Review | Nova [Sci-Fi/Horror Short]

Review | Nova [Sci-Fi/Horror Short]

Writer/Director David McAbee presents ‘Nova’, an intense sci-fi/horror with a twist delivered in just eight minutes.

No time is wasted with exposition in ‘Nova’, an eight minute short film from writer and director David McAbee. An air of intensity is set immediately through clever lighting, sound and camera work. The film stars Kelly Kula (Dr. Nova Thorpe) who also takes a producer credit.

Filmed mostly in a single, ever-moving shot through the clever use of a remotely operated robotic arm, cinematographer, David C. Smith, delivers the illusion of a one-take transformation scene.  Convincing visual effects help to add to the tension.

Dr. Nova Thorpe, a lead engineer in a top secret experiment, needs to get a warning out, but time is against her as she begins to lose control of her body. The ominous threat she alludes to in her monologue leaves the viewer pondering where the real danger lies. Is it in the room or is it just outside the door? There’s a twist that let’s the viewers imagination wonder how the story truly ends. Perhaps this is just the beginning?

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‘Nova’ delivers a lot of punch in a short time. The thrill is more in what you don’t see which is set up by Kelly Kula’s monologue. She doesn’t play to the camera. Rather she’s ‘in the moment’, a sense heightened, no doubt, by the absence of a camera crew in the room with her. Just the actor and a remote camera rig reduces any distraction allowing Kula to fully embrace the role.

The film isn’t widely distributed at present but is making it’s way around horror and short film festivals. If you get the chance to see ‘Nova’ I’m certain you’ll agree it is a worthwhile use of eight minutes.

‘Nova’ can be seen at ‘Zed Fest Film Festival‘ this weekend (December 6th 2020) in Van Nuys, Ca.

A tense sci-fi horror that leaves a lot to the imagination, in the best way possible. A great use of eight minutes. – 5/5




Will Harrison

About the author | Will Harrison

Founder of The Unheard Nerd. A husband and father of two girls, Will is a fan of Nerdcore Hip-Hop, a comics fiend, a podcast host and champion of independent nerd culture. | Follow will on twitter: @TheUnheardNerd