Vacuity, dir. Michael Matzur. Montana State University, 2013. Starring Michael Steppe. 14 minutes.Reviewed by Brian Eisley
Vacuity is a beautifully-made short SF film that functions both as a thoughtful character study and as a suspenseful thriller. Shot on a very minimal set, with a single camera and a nonexistent budget, Vacuity nevertheless manages to pack more story into its 14 minutes than many films ten times its length.
Alan Brahm (Michael Steppe) works as an engineer on the XOEH space station. As the story begins, he awakens in an airlock where he had been preparing for an EVA. His computer terminal displays error messages: hydraulics, pneumatics, airlock systems. Alan soon discovers that the station has suffered catastrophic damage, his teammates are dead or unaccounted for, his suit is damaged, and he is trapped in the airlock—with the computer stuck in its decompression sequence.