Neill Blomkamp’s Latest Short Film ‘Zygote’ Is Pure Biological Horror

The latest release from Oats Studios stars Dakota Fanning and takes place in a gritty, dangerous futuristic mining outpost.

Zygote is the biological term used to describe a fertilized egg cell. But to the chagrin of high school biology teachers everywhere, it's now also the name of the newest short film from sci-fi director Neill Blomkamp's company Oats Studios.

The 22-minute long suspense horror film stars Dakota Fanning as the survivor of a futuristic mining disaster facing off against a horrific monster that recalls John Carpenter's classic The Thing. It tackles ideas including the creation of artificial humans, labor, synthetic biology, and more, through the lens of a creepy survival thriller.

Blomkamp (director of District 9, Chappie, and Elysium) launched Oats Studios earlier this year as a new kind of film creation and distribution company. The studio is releasing new short films regularly on YouTube and the online gaming store Steam as part of its "Volume 1" collection.

Audience members can also purchase additional assets from the films on Steam—such as 3D character models—and remix them in new and creative ways. The company hopes to use these shorts, and the audience responses, as inspiration for feature-length projects.

So far, including Zygote, Oats has four short films and four twisted infomercials. Based on the delightful creepiness of Zygote, I say, keep 'em coming.

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