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Neill Blomkamp’s New Short ‘Zygote’ is the Scariest Monster Movie in Years

Do you love The Thing? Then you NEED to watch this. Right now.

Neill Blomkamp has been consistently blowing our minds with his Oats Studios output, which has seen him step outside the system to unleash his visionary creativity to the fullest extent of the law. Recent shorts Rakka and Firebase showed what Blomkamp is capable of without any studio involvement, and he’s back this week with a new one.

Dakota Fanning stars in Zygote, a 20-minute sci-fi/horror short set in the Arctic Circle. The 98 person crew of a mining operation has been reduced to just two survivors… and they’re being pursued by a massive monster that is quite literally made up of the body parts of their fallen crew members.

Playing out like The Thing meets Aliens meets Brian Yuzna’s Society, Zygote is one of the coolest and craziest things you’ll see all year. We promise.

If you’ve been loving Volume 1 of Blomkamp’s new shorts and want to see Volume 2, then support Oats Studios by purchasing the Zygote DLC through steam.


75 Comments
  • Beatnation

    No it’s not, this guy is a hack.

    Personally I believe these shorts suffer from the exact same problems of Chappie and Elysium.
    Too much exposition, over-explaining, techno-jargon(especially Firebase & Zygote), a lot of it does nothing to drive the story forward. I’d like to see more showing less telling.

    I wish this hack could come with something original instead just making “love letters” to Aliens, Terminator, The Thing, SOMA and INSIDE.

    • Vicente Garcia

      He’s a great director and idea-man: he just needs someone ELSE to write these ideas into scripts for him to direct…

    • Mehliens

      NAILED IT

    • madchilli

      I’d say the complete opposite. A real pile of shite with no thought at all. Not scarey and not in the same league as Ridley’s stuff.
      What is this short film trying to prove?

      • edie esbie

        If anything, it just goes to show that he can make a better Thing than the Thing Prequel.

  • Necro

    Doesn’t the creature in ‘Splinter’ do the same thing? Compile itself of victims it has attacked.

    • J Jett

      you’re right! it’s definitely one of the things the creature does! i love that movie. 🙂

      • Necro

        I remember reading about it in Fangoria and when I finally got my hands on it I watched it four times in two days. That’s how much I liked it!

    • Daniel Anderson

      It had the tendency to, it was mainly whatever the situation called for. +50 roxor points for mentioning Splinter. Fantastic lower budget flick with outstanding acting IMO.

      • Necro

        Yeah it was!

  • Dave

    This was scary? Other than a semi interesting creature design this was as stale as everything Blomkamp has done after District 9. It greaves me to say it, but he’s this generation’s George Lucas.

    • Seth Kallen Deitch

      You’re generous. I would have said M. Night Shyamalan.

      • Mehliens

        I think Shyamalan is a hack too but at least he knows how to set up proper shots and tell a story… even tho its a complete one trick pony just like Blom. Awful

        • J Jett

          LOL. any chance you have to bash Blomkamp all the while praising your lover Ridley Scott…it’s really funny. 🙂

          • Mehliens

            I’m not blindly hyping Scott. He is a solid director who has a tendency to botch the good stuff unnecessarily. But the difference to Blomkamp is that there is actually good stuff in his films and that his craftsmanship is bleeding edge. So whatever you are claiming its simply not true.

          • Well, the only good thing in Ridley’s films these days is his choice of people to work with. His film usually have good cinematography and effects. Even then, Covenant ended up having somewhat mediocre effects and pretty bad editing – the cinematography still holds up, but that should be attributed to Dariusz Wolski.

          • Mehliens

            Thats not new for Ridley at all. He always had a tendency to cut way too much for the theatrical versions and he chooses the edits so damn unwisely as it is sometimes makes for a very jarring experience for the regular Joe. Thats in the nutshell why his films look so choppy. Regarding the cinematography I have to disagree, thats where Ridley absolutely excels and he never fails at that no matter who he works with.

  • Grimphantom

    The design of the creature was ok but doesn’t give much personality to it where The Thing even tho changed alot it had it’s own identity with these crazy transformations here it looks a bit generic.

    • Agreed. Maybe if we all throw some money towards Oats, we’ll get a more elaborated full film that can give the creature more personality? 😉

  • Mehliens

    What? Not a game changer as well?… Another ridiculous hyperbole headline that could not be further from the truth. Neils idea of horror is being absolutely facepalm inducing blunt and unoriginal. Can we please get a real talent hyped instead of this hacktard?

    • J Jett

      this short had more tension and better acting from Dakota Fanning than anything in COVENANT. sorry.

      • Mehliens

        What are you smoking?

      • Well, Fassbender was good, but the rest of Covenant was indeed absolute shit.

    • Chance LeBoeuf

      Seriously. All these shorts so far are painfully generic and he really can’t make anything that someone hasn’t already done. Like, there’s taking inspiration, and then there’s just not having a creative bone in your body. With Zygote, he literally just mashed Alien and The Thing together. An alien monster in the artic that takes on the traits of its victims, and it apparently burst from the body of someone else. For fucks sake.

      Rakka was also just a very typical alien invasion/post apocalyptic story. God: Serengeti was a subversive take on the God character. Because no one’s ever done that before. *rolls eyes* And Firebase was basically Doom but in Vietnam without any of the self awareness.

      This site jerking him off has gone past the point of ridiculousness. Neil seriously does not deserve the praise he gets. It’s becoming unfair to all the real talented people out there.

      • Mehliens

        Amazingly well put. The real tragedy here is that apparently there is people who don’t see through these creatively bankrupt projects. It still pains me that they even had the nerve to call them ‘experimental’ when it fact they are the exact opposite of that. They couldn’t be more generic and derivative in any conceivable way.

        • Morgoth

          Oh boohoo. Cry me a river, pair of arrogant schmucks. Funnily enough, the dude complaining about the “generic” stuff and how Neil doesn’t deserve any praise is a superhero fan. Because clearly, MCU movies are the pinnacle of originality and in no way is their success detrimental to the “real talented people” out there.

          • Mehliens

            Who said anyting about MCU? Where did you get that from?

      • Cure4Humanity

        The Thing assimilates and mimics its prey, the Zygote creature absorbs them and all their information. Not even close to the same. Also, you clearly didn’t pay attention as the creature didn’t burst from that corpses chest as it was explained during the short that it was the combination of all the miners corpses that were hacked up by someone it manipulated (through whatever means…white light etc). If you had said it was like the creature from Splinter I would have been able to take you more seriously. I have no problem with objective observations. But all you’ve done is prove that you didn’t pay attention and whined like a jackass.

        • Mehliens

          The thing did absorb the knowledge of its prey just the same. If you rebutt someone make sure you have the facts straight. His overall observation was spot on by the way. I’m sure he paid more attention than you because he looked past the surface and sees it for what it really is.

          • Cure4Humanity

            You’re still missing the point. The Thing absorbed its prey for the purpose of camouflage for survival purposes. The Zygote creature wasn’t trying to hide, just absorb their knowledge and biomass to continue destroying life. If you can’t see a difference I don’t know what to tell you. Also, the thing is able to manipulate its mass and form. The Zygote could not. Calling it a rip-off is an exaggeration at best. I have my facts perfectly straight, thanks. The Thing is one of my favorite films of all time and I’ll happily debate any aspect of it.

          • Mehliens

            Since the point of the original poster wasn’t about the technicalities but rather about the overall impression that Blomkamps films are proof of the man not having a shred of writing skills / cinematic feeling / originality. The OP writes ‘Neil really can’t make anything that someone hasn’t already done’ which is absolutely true as he is only remixing and reimagining his hero films / genres with no finesse or understanding what it was that made them great. By now its obvious that he crosses the threshold from ‘taking inspiration’ to crude frankenstein-ing totally worn out genre concepts EVERY GODDAMN TIME. Also how hard Blomkamp tries to be ‘cool’ with his edgy video game visuals / designs (that honestly suck) doesn’t make his stuff any fresher or more interesting.

          • Cure4Humanity

            How often do you see originality in horror films anymore? Cause the instances are rarer and rarer. Most are filled with “cliches” or previously established concepts from previous films. Do you sit and complain about all of those as well? I don’t see you calling out Covenant for rehashing shit that was already done in both Prometheus and the original Alien?

          • Mehliens

            You have a point there. Yes I do complain about others films as well but in the case of Blomkamp the hype he gets is simply not warranted and deserves ridicule.
            I haven’t called out Covenant for its weaknesses? You haven’t been paying attention. In my opinion Covenant suffers from a very heavy case of fan service and trying to be 3 films at once. Thus it can’t keep the tonality or the pace right for more than 20 minutes at the time etc etc. I’m shocked that Scott let himself getting pressured in deviating from what he set up in Prometheus instead of fine-tuning it. I can totally understand (and share) some of the criticism even tho its mostly edgelord hyperbole instead of proper reasoning.

  • chronikheckler

    I haven’t really been paying attention to these series of short-films but, that last 5-minute chase scene was in my opinion, more effective than ANY of the chase-scenes from either of Ridley’s profoundly disappointing prequels of Prometheus or Covenant.

    Speaking of which, Blomkamp may very well be a one-trick pony but, after sitting through those last 2 dismal prequel efforts of poor senile old Ridley Scott, I really, really wish that FOX had found the courage to have given Blomkamp a chance with his Alien-5.

    It could have co-existed with Ridley’s movies.

    But, Ridley pulled some strings, got Blomkamp shut-down and now, all we are left with is Ridley’s pointless series of films that continue to deconstruct EVERYTHING that was mysterious and special about the original Alien and (to a lesser extent) Aliens.

    • madchilli

      Yeah I’d really like to see an aging Ripley brought back to to life in another hacked about alien film. Where do I sign for this?

      • Mehliens

        NICE

      • MarsupialRebellion

        This.

      • Instead you get an aging Ridley at the end of his life doing one hack job after another 😉

        • Mehliens

          Hehe. Oh well. Jokes aside I think Prometheus was almost fine as is and far from a hack job. Its a solid entry with a few weaknesses that could have been easily fixed with a new cut Imo. While Covenant wasn’t a blatant hack either its still rather obvious that it succumbed to the pressure of the ‘fans’ leading it to be an unfocused, derailed bastard of a movie that created more problems where non where necessary. Thats the tragedy of Ridleys films that everybody subconsciously knows that the prequels could have been actually good. I think if Ridley would have just stayed the course it would have fared way way better. Especially considering Prometheus already was a success financially so why the hell change the formula that despite being criticised still worked and just needed to be followed up?? That really made no sense to me.

    • J Jett

      chronikheckler, i agree w/ you.

  • madchilli

    The creature looks like something from the Muppet show.

    • J Jett

      i thought it looked pretty cool. what didn’t you like about it? just curious.

  • Corey J Adkison

    Pretty cool.

  • J Jett

    i loved this! and i had no idea Dakota Fanning was in this but i so happy to see her! she’s awesome and she was fantastic in this! she needs to be in more movies/shows. this was nearly perfect IMO except for the male actor. i honestly could hardly make out what he was saying. this short also technically is 90% chase scene and that’s awesome in my book! the creature is freaky awesome as well. i would love a full length feature of this short.

  • J Jett

    didn’t Dakota remind anyone of Newt as a young woman? 🙂

  • GR Matheson

    this woulda been great if they didn’t cast Jose Pablo Cantillo in it. Such horrible acting.

  • llcc1103

    Very good. Too much cutting though in my opinion. Should have held certain shots longer.

  • KJ Ozborne

    I have to disagree. I did not find this scary at all. The monster was cool but it was basically two people running down a hall from the monster for twenty minutes.

    • zombie84_41

      theres one scene that really fucking freaked me out it was at the end when she was running the lights were flickering and you just saw Zygote just coming down the hallway that shit was filmed really good.

  • I really liked this, the idea behind it was great; but there were some plot holes, like killing the creature- continuous shooting would’ve killed it or an axe to the head. So don’t get that, and why wasn’t this turned into a full 90 min. movie? Enough material. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that this was the ending to a full horror movie.

  • sliceanddice

    Handy…

  • Colin Christian

    That is a great monster,reminds me of The Dunwich Horror,why the hell are no Lovecraft movies being made? Decent ones.

    • zombie84_41

      Thats what I’m saying they really do need to be made. He be the man for the job though and prob get it right.

  • Hank_Scorpio

    Decent short, but I’d rather watch The Thing….

  • GunsOfNavarone

    Here’s what I think… the tension seemed to be right and the visuals were spot on. But the scripted conversation and the interplay between the 2 characters was poorly executed and that is the problem with Blomkamp’s stuff. There is no doubting he has some talent for the visual flair of his movies but it’s the meat of the bones where he falls short.

  • shawn lawson

    Pretty good. Monster was sick. Like me some Fanning too

  • thetaxmaan

    Thats pretty gnarly looking.
    Blomkamp is real good for visuals.

    If he can just keep his wifes smug canadien politics out of the script his movies would be a lot more enjoyable.

  • Honest

    I’m only up to them stumbling through the snow, but I have to ask. Why, if you’re going to spend that much money on the set and special effects and such, did you go with “generic monster roar #24” that we’ve heard in every low-budget video game, movie, and TV show for a couple decades. It’s like I’m playing Doom on a 486.

    • Satanzilla

      Because twenty minutes is too long for you?

      • zombie84_41

        Must be. I bet you he would feel the same if it was 50 seconds. I guess some people just don’t have the patience.

      • Honest

        For mediocre writing, yes

  • edie esbie

    Honestly, Blomkamp’s creature designs are great, but the stories they are in are blah. I mean, FIREBASE is Edge of Tomorrow without the Groundhog Day aspect, RAKKA is what happens if Independence Day ended with the aliens as victors, and ZYGOTE reeks of The Thing Prequel (not the Kurt Russel classic).

    Even GOD-SERENGETI is a throwback to the George Burns “Oh, God” films.

    TL;DR: even with wonderful CGI, Oats is rehashing tired ideas.

    • zombie84_41

      I think if he can make them into longer films it be better. his writing isn’t all bad at all believe theirs alot more shitty writers our there. Ehren Kruger, Akiva Goldsman, the whole writing cast on Walking dead.

      And I wouldn’t say they are rip off’s more like homages.

      • Anthony DeRouen

        I didn’t see the short with Sigourney Weaver yet, but there’s a shot that’s way too close to being Newt than an homage would allow. Unoriginality does affect his work.

        • zombie84_41

          Which shot dude ?

  • Anthony DeRouen

    I’m actually glad this guy didnt do Alien 5. His stories are rip-offs. Aliens, The Thing etc. He has a talent for visuals, but that’s it and that’s not enough.

    • zombie84_41

      But if he did Aliens 5 it wouldn’t of been a rip off lol.

      • Anthony DeRouen

        If he was given the chance to continue the Alien franchise it couldn’t be a rip-off, since he’s working with Fox. I loved the concept art he had, and it’s too bad we won’t get to have a proper send off for Ripley.

        • zombie84_41

          Yeah I’m still hoping ridley ties it all in nicely.

  • Michael Peterson

    Well I thought it was awesome. Yeah the interplay between the characters was a bit silly and boring, but the creature was awesome. I’ve liked 3 of the Oats Studios shorts (not the infomercial one), and would gladly see any of these in movie form. As it stands I wait for more of these nice little gems.

  • zombie84_41

    John it’s like Dead Space also. Alot like Dead Space. This needs to be made into a feature film ASAP. Also I saw the behind the scenes on how it was made and Neil said the world was basically wipe away due to meteors that crashed and all. Sounded mad awesome.

  • umaneo

    Nightmarish monster and Dakota was fantastic. I would have loved to see his Alien 5.

  • I Am Colossus

    Man, Dakota Fanning still is an awesome actress

  • uriah369

    Sweet!!!!!!! Loved it, thanks BD for posting it. That monster was crazy I would love to see it creating itself and growing. We need this as a full length movie.

  • Eastman420

    Hell yeah very cool!!!

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