Glowing red eyes are never a good sign.
Glowing red eyes are never a good sign.
Image: Novastar FX Inc.

Would you hand over your soul for the ultimate score?

This FX-driven short from Canadian-American filmmaker Kristian Bakstad is about a sleazy artifact hunter who detects a valuable find on an out-of-the-way planet. When he arrives, however, he realizes this isn’t a typical scavenging mission, and what (and who) he finds makes it very clear why the film is titled Eden.

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This is very much a proof-of-concept short with an abbreviated story—but it’s always a good sign when a project like this offers some intriguing world building and offbeat ideas, as well as leaving you feeling like it ends too soon because you’re dying to know what happens next.

I love the idea of a fur-clad New Age guru lurking on a lonely planet, waiting to greet visitors with a theatrical slow clap and promising attainment of the “next level beyond human” via a looped VHS tape (some Heaven’s Gate vibes there). Also, what’s in that box? Is it...an outer-space version of the Pulp Fiction briefcase?

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