Lookouts opens with a mad rush through a forest as an unseen narrator demands: "Now tell me: what is a basilisk?" What follows is a brilliant short film about a troop of boys and their confrontation with a mythical creature. If you’ve been looking for something to watch after Stranger Things, you may be sated — at least for the next 12 minutes.
Directed by David Bousquet, the film is a condensed fantasy epic that drops the viewer right into its moody world with monsters. The story hopscotches between the present, as a boy named Pehn escapes into the forest of Eyrewood, and the past as he trains with his friends to become the town’s lookout.
The short film beautifully executes on the style of long-lost pulp movies and thick paperback novels from the 1980s, like Willow or Terry Brooks’ Shannara Chronicles. It’s anachronistically earnest. Fun fact: it's based off of a Penny Arcade comic.
This isn’t too dissimilar to Netflix’s breakout show this summer: a group of boys facing a strange and dangerous force. While this short film’s length is a fourth of a Stranger Things episode, it feels as though it could easily span its own series. Shorts like this have a precedent of becoming feature films, though perhaps we shouldn’t mention Pixels as the most recognizable example.