Electric Faces is a Scottish short film written and directed by Johnny Herbin. It follows the naivety of a young crook looking for an easy score, only to find trouble with an incompetent robot sidekick and a troublesome guard. It’s an engaging sci-fi drama which, to its benefit, manages to include humorous elements throughout.
The execution of Electric Faces and its effectiveness as a crime drama and dystopian sci-fi is both surprising and impressive. It’s clear that Herbin is an up-and-coming talent by his ability to build a strong diegesis with ease in such a short space of time. The world in which the short is set is an interesting and well-realised one. It’s got shades of Blade Runner (1982) but manages to establish itself as much more, displaying uniqueness and originality.
The central character works for the film as he incorporates metaphors of addiction and desperation. These themes help keep the film grounded and allow him to become an understandable character who is easy to sympathise with. Whilst the acting can occasionally be ropey as the writing sounds better on paper than read out, it always comes back to hit the mark.
There’s a lot to like about Electric Faces and it’ll be very interesting to see where Herbin goes from here. He clearly understands genre conventions, with intertextuality being present and felt, whilst the characters are greatly written in an organic plot. Electric Faces is a nice display of youthful talent and vigour.
Written by Luke Compton