Upon learning about his research project into Extraterrestrial life being shut down, forlorn scientist Marcus (Kevin Veselka) heads to the woods in search of answers, but a strange encounter causes a sudden shift in his dark demeanor. Seeking solace and a way to overcome his mental struggles, he embarks on a quest for purpose. Isolating himself, he attempts to make contact with intelligent life in outer space using the very transmitter device he was developing before. Concerned about his well-being, Marcus’ sister Bryn (Jackie Kelly) tracks him down, just in time to witness his grand plan in action.

It’s rare to get original indie sci-fi films that operate on such an effective, minimalistic level as I Know There’s Something Here For You. It’s slick, thanks in no small part to Remsy Atassi’s colorful images and an eerily soothing soundtrack by composer Justin Rigoni. The short’s true power, however, stems from far more subtle details that take time to develop. The circumstances surrounding Marcus and Bryn’s reunion are grim, to say the least, but what starts as a simple sibling therapy session quickly turns into something greater: a pursuit of purpose.

There are some hurdles to face along the way, instances where the short feels like it’s dragging its feet a little. The chemistry between Veselka and Kelly isn’t immediately palpable, nor is the pace especially keen on kicking into high gear. It’s first minutes are admittedly leisurely, but sticking around to see it’s supernatural journey through is nothing short of rewarding.

Instead of steering clear of the extraordinary, I Know There’s Something Here For You embraces it, and it’s all the better because of it. As Marcus’s work unravels and Bryn goes along with her brother for the ride, the film’s weirdness scale reaches a fever pitch. It’s all so warped and jarring, yet writer/director Sean Robert Kelly manages to guide his characters purposefully without getting lost in all the oddities. There’s beauty in the bizarre, and what Kelly accomplishes here is very similar in its effectiveness to recent major motion pictures, such as Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things.

Sean Robert Kelly’s meditative science-fiction short merges dark humor and strong themes about family to create something that stands out from the crowd. I Know There’s Something Here For You starts quite slow but builds itself into an introspective treat.