Strange Beasts:short, inspiring/disturbing science fiction movie about augmented reality toys


Originally published at:


Woah. I did not see that coming. The implicit missing backstory will have me thinking hard for a long time. Nicely done.



When they turn against you, don’t come crying to me.


Oh my God! He was really dead all along!

(oops wrong spoiler)


Color me surprised. I’ll just assume that this guy has a screenplay somewhere in the works. (with all the remakes going on, one could guarantee that)


Really? I half suspected at the photo and was all hmm she is always far away with him watching… maybe I have seen way too many films…


It’s so obvious once revealed, but they frontweighted so much on the premise it sailed right on by. What a well-done narrative.


Very poignant and disturbing. Perfectly good and very powerful as-is, but would be very interesting to see it extended into a longer format, maybe as a Black Mirror episode.

There are many possible messages here, but I found myself thinking about how these technologies are really becoming super dense black holes for our interests and relationships. They have a powerful, inescapable gravity that pulls everything into their orbits, and once you get drawn in, the event horizon of your digital life becomes a playground for a solipsist. I don’t think this story overstates or exaggerates the danger–if anything, the reality we are strangely attracted to is far more dangerous and horrifying than anything we can currently imagine.


The “subtle” shift in music gave it away for me.


Oh good. Another Black Mirror episode!


Trust my wife to tell me that it wasn’t real.

How would she know. I was THERE!


The photos absolutely tipped the hand early.


In a few years this video will be referenced as being prescient.


The sinister tone is misdirected. Sure, it’s a sad story, but it’s no more sad than the adults who exist right now who direct nurturant behavior at dolls or deceased children. Whether there never was an Anna or there was and now she’s gone to custody of another, age, or the grave, it’s only a slightly-realer way of not coping than the ones thousands of ex-parents, never-parents, or non-custodial parents use every day.

Certainly, even if you think the idea of a virtual pet or companion is creepy (an argument I can at least expect), note that the music turns minor on the discussion of the retinal light field, not on Anna – suggesting that getting the visual overlay is creepy, not the use of it. Even if virtualized companionship is a bit isolating, I would get the visual overlay in a second, just for the informational uses.


Hopefully this doesn’t count as a spoiler anymore; but it turns out that Victor did pretty well for himself in mobile gaming; and ended up founding and funding a clandestine paramilitary organization of considerable scope and power in his later years.

Never lost his interest in creepy contact lenses or female synthetics.

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