Sombra City short film

★★★★

Directed by: Elias Plagianos

Written by: #EliasPlagianos

Starring: #JoshBurrow, #MarielaGarriga, #SebastianDoggart

Short Film Review by: #ChrisOlson


A sumptuously filmed sci-fi from filmmaker Elias Plagianos, short film Sombra City takes an assassin’s tale and gives it a gloriously romantic twist. Set in the future, Josh Burrow plays a hired killer who finds himself caught between the woman (Mariela Garriga) he once loved and her husband (Sebastian Doggart).


Like a cross between Blade Runner and The Tourist, Plagianos is not afraid to mix his cinematic genres. Sombra City is peppered with beautiful #cinematography that will transfix audiences, whilst the intriguing premise of there being licenced contract killers in the year 2037 is enough to make most viewers pay attention. Throw into the mix a fantastic central dynamic between two well-sketched characters, and a cocktail of delightful ingredients you have.


Utilising some fast editing to provide the necessary exposition at the beginning of the piece, Sombra City has plenty of cinematic flair throughout to charm and engage. Certain sequences have a robust quality, not too dissimilar to classic gangster flicks, such as a restaurant scene that was reminiscent of The Godfather. And much like those films, this short movie has a well curated atmosphere of tragedy and heavy emotion. Plagianos conducts a symphony of visual cues that are both familiar and fresh.


The performances are good and there is a nice chemistry between Burrow and Garriga. Some of the dialogue felt a little clunky, such as when the up to date version of the law gets discussed, which disrupted the flow of the piece. That being said, Plagianos knows when to let the camera do the talking. His use of a slow, sweeping shots of the cityscape are gorgeous and work well to provide the central characters with emotional heft to their scenes. A wonderful example of this is a slow walk down a corridor which looks out on to the city which is sublimely shot, seen in the movie poster above.


Whilst Sombra City engages with numerous classic cinematic tropes and styles, there is something very modern to the themes of the story. The relationships on display are significantly complicated due to the catalyst of the contract killer law. Humanity is questioned and the fine lines between love, life and death are thrown into chaos. This makes the movie incredibly powerful whilst still being visually arresting.


Bountiful in its aesthetic qualities and loaded with a terrific plot, Sombra City is a gorgeous movie to immerse yourself into.


Watch the official movie trailer below.