Love, Death + Robots: Mason’s Rats Explained

Love, Death + Robots

Every season of Love, Death + Robots has brought us some incredible short stories being adapted into fantastic short films. The literary world is filled with tons of ideas that haven’t found their way into the big screen for one reason or another. So, while most of the Netflix‘s original show episodes dwell in the land of science fiction and fantasy, there are still tons of genres and ideas that can and need to be explored.


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Mason’s Rats is directed by Carlos Stevens, and it is based on the short story written by Neal Asher, who also wrote Bad Travelling. The story was adapted to the screen by Joe Abercrombie, and the short itself was produced by Axis Studios, an animation studio in Scotland. Mason’s Rats brings a more cartoon feel to the season, as well as a bit more comedy, among mostly very creepy and serious short films.

Love, Death + Robots: Mason’s Rats Plot Summary

In the short, we are introduced to Mason, an old farmer living in a future version of Scotland. There, Mason discovers something amazing, and dangerous. There are rats in his barn and these rats have evolved to the point that they are using tools such as spears and arrows. In order to get rid of this plague, Mason calls an extermination company.

The extermination company sells Mason laser turrets that he can install inside the barn, and then just wait until all the rats are dead. It is expensive, but he buys it for peace of mind. Mason installs the turrets and they start shooting. Days later, it seems the rats are tough enough that they have destroyed the turrets and even stole one of them for themselves.

Love, Death + Robots

The extermination company sells Mason the latest extermination model, a sort of robot in the shape of a scorpion that has claws and a small machine laser gun. The robot begins to kill the rats in the most gruesome ways possible. Mason doesn’t pay attention and lets the machine do its work.

However, when Mason witnesses the violence with which the robot kills the rats and how the rats fight an impossible enemy, Mason’s heart fills with compassion, and he kills the robot with a shotgun. In the end, Mason and the rats make peace, and they start a new friendship over some liquor.

Love, Death + Robots: Mason’s Rats Explained

Mason’s Rats is a very simple short film that tries to convey a message of solidarity in the way we think of others. You never know someone else’s story, and they might be victims of their own situations in ways no one but them can really understand.

Having compassion for others and not jumping to conclusions before learning all the proper information seems to be the teaching the story wants to provide. Who knows, maybe that person that you think is someone you wouldn’t like can end up being a great friend if given the chance.

The short also takes into account how advertisement and propaganda sometimes define our expectations of others, and they end up perverting our perception of reality in favor of one that can help them sell their latest product.

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