“You could soak in both ABE and Rahab in the amount of time it would take for the end-credits scroll of any Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth opuses…”
Director Rob McLellan is perhaps poised to be the next “big thing” in the sci-fi world. The commercial director and visual effects artist has been fast building a following with his stunning style in a number of short films, including Rahab and most recently ABE (full film attached). ABE began its life as an entry in a 48-hour filmmaking competition, but has been stretched to an 8.5-minute mini-thriller, that wets the appetite of what the future may hold for the young visionary.
In a week in which the second Hobbit film is being released, it’s refreshing to be reminded that there are directors who are capable of telling an effective tale with streamlined efficiency. Peter Jackson, as talented as he may be, seems to have forgotten that there is an “edit” button. But in under the amount of time it takes to organize your sock drawer, McLellan brings to life a lovelorn robot whose got a malicious malfunction that could be straight out of a Philip K Dick story.
The film grew out of love … and all that a two-minute futuristic chiller created for last year’s Colchester Film Festival 48-Hour Challenge, and it is now, according to its website, slated to become an MGM-backed feature. McLellan’s sure-footed confidence with ABE is reminiscent of another short film with a distinctive voice: 2009 Ataque de pánico! (Panic Attack!), which was reportedly made for $300 by its director, Fede Alvarez, but landed him a gig directing the Evil Dead remake with Sam Raimi’s blessing.
You could soak in both ABE and Rahab in the amount of time it would take for the end-credits scroll of any Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth opuses, and you can see what great fantasy and sci-fi authors throughout the ages understand: an effective story can be told at any length.
Review by Rob Rector, Lead Entertainment Writer