What: A new sci-fi short that will either break your heart or blow your mind, possibly both.
Why we care: “The Sweetening” begins with the deeply creepy image of a woman sitting alone on a park bench holding an ice cream cone that’s melting down her arm, and it doesn’t exactly get less unsettling as it goes along. The short follows Sadie (Rowe), a woman serving as a beta tester for a virtual reality program that’s basically an immersive, imaginary Tinder. The contrast between her real life as a married mother of two and her steamy virtual one couldn’t be greater, though. If you thought that looking at other people’s seemingly more exciting lives on social media could be depressing, just imagine experiencing your own more exciting life temporarily, and then blinking it away. Like Black Mirror, which mines similar terrain, The Sweetening leaves you with the eerie feeling that we won’t be just imagining such a possibility forever.