SENTiNEL is an interesting short film about a man being chased by a military drone that becomes a very real life and death kind of story. It could go in a dozen different ways just from this five minute showing and that’s pretty cool since there’s no idea just what’s going on except for the fact that the man is being hunted and that there is something more to it since there are so many clues. A writer could go off on this short film in so many ways that it’s hard to count them all and it might even be easier just to state that there are a few core ways that could produce a large number of ideas within each main vein of the plots that could be devised.
In other words, it’s a very open-ended story.
For instance, who dumped him in the middle of seemingly nowhere? Was he a captive or a soldier of some sort? It seems more likely that he wasn’t a captive since he still had a device on his person that allowed him to scan the area for anything that might be useful or harmful to him. Of course that could also be there because he’s meant to run a type of obstacle course of some sort or because someone is testing him. The possibilities only become more endless as he reveals the faintly glowing chronometer emblazoned on his wrist that begins, or continues, to count down the seconds.
He seems entirely unaware of where he is, and yet he knows well enough to run when he sees the drone in the sky. At first glance it seems like he might not recognize it. But when the thing gets moving he knows not to stand still, and is running before it can fire off the first volley. He’s taken off of his feet by one blast but as the drone flies overhead he is up and running again as the machine blasts at him again and again, its tracking seemingly off as a moving target is a lot harder to hit. You might think a machine would be able to compensate, but maybe not.
As he reaches the degraded and tumbledown structure that he saw from a distance he makes sure the drone isn’t lying in wait somewhere and then opens a metal box he finds lying on the ground. This is where it becomes likely that it’s a training mission or a torturous obstacle course set up by a sick mind, because inside is a rifle of some sort that he quickly assembles before making his way out from cover where he can face the drone once again.
Turning in all directions he doesn’t see the drone until it presents itself to him, its onboard systems saying that it has depleted its secondary weapon. That means it’s going to fire its primary weapon, a cannon that would surely blow the man away with horrid ease if he wasn’t quick enough. Thankfully however he’s quicker than the machine as the moment it looks as though it might fire he pulls the trigger of his weapon, striking the more vulnerable innards of the machine as it goes tumbling away.
Remember, in a life or death situation, firing first is not always a bad idea.