Blinky™: A Touching Short Film About A Killer Robot

That’s right, touch­ing.

From Blade Run­ner to Ter­mi­na­tor to at least 30 per­cent of what made Bat­tlestar Galac­ti­ca great, vio­lent robot revolt is noth­ing new. But 27-year old Irish film­mak­er Ruairi Robin­son, who was nom­i­nat­ed for an Oscar for his ani­mat­ed short Fifty Per­cent Grey, tweaks the for­mu­la by shrink­ing the are­na: This bat­tle­field isn’t a galaxy, a solar sys­tem or even a plan­et; it’s just the lone­ly sub­ur­ban home of a boy whose par­ents fight all day.

Max Record (Where the Wild Things Are) is fine as the angry son who hopes a new toy will solve all of his prob­lems, but this movie belongs to the robot: More WALL‑E than cylon, more R2-D2 than ED-209, and priced at just $999.99, Blinky is a machine the whole fam­i­ly can love. He catch­es, he cleans, he plays hide and seek, he’ll wait for you in the rain, and he just wants to be your friend.…Until he does­n’t.

A warn­ing here: Even though at its best Blinky speaks direct­ly to the bloody-mind­ed fifth-grad­er in all of us, we sug­gest watch­ing the whole thing before show­ing it to chil­dren, or even squea­mish adults.

(Vis­it the always excel­lent io9 for more free sci­ence fic­tion film rec­om­men­da­tions.)

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

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