Project S.E.R.A. is yet another in a line of short films with feature length possibilities and Ben Howdeshell’s short action horror film has potential to be a small chapter in a larger story that invokes the likes of “Resident Evil” with a hint of “Mission Impossible.” Set in the beginning of a major zombie outbreak, a young girl struggles to face what has happened to her after investigating a top secret government toxin that they’re manufacturing. She’s caught along with her father who happens to be an agent himself, and both are tortured for information and leads. Of course none of them are aware what this enemy holds as they threaten to unleash this toxin on Jill’s father if she doesn’t speak.
The gorgeous Julia Voth is a convincing horror heroine here as the gun toting young woman who tries to keep her cool under the pressure of her dad’s inevitable torture and death all the while trying to make sense of this predicament with her secret confidante Bryan (as played by Victor Webster) in a diner as danger looms about in the darkness in the form of the walking dead. Along the way Jill gets a first hand view as to what the toxin can do and struggles to stop the corporation from spreading it to the public all the while confronting her father who snarls as a new breed of monster.
The photography is sharp and the editing is slick making for a “Rashomon” situation that creates an aura of mystery and intrigue that will leave the viewer wanting more. It also helps Voth knows how to handle herself in the action department and looks damn good holding a gun and battling masked soldiers in the process of stopping her enemies. Howdeshell is a very talented director and I look forward to seeing what he can do with a feature length film in the future. With a nice pay off in the end, and winks alluding to so much more in store (as most of these short films are intended for), “Project S.E.R.A.” is a great action piece worth your time. Reminiscent of “Resident Evil” with a wicked spy backdrop, “Project S.E.R.A.” is a nice short effort from director Ben Howdeshell who created a world filled with suspense, action, and carnage all leading in to a potential fight for humanity.