Schlock Horror’s review published on Letterboxd:
Tetra Vaal feels like a 2-minute advertisement for a Chappie prequel. It's a commercial for the police robot that would eventually get its own movie in 2015. Some 11 years after Neill Blomkamp's short film. What is there to say about Tetra Vaal? It's actually quite hard to review when the short is a mere 120 seconds. I want to be able to say that I loved this short, but it's not the case. I admire a lot of the work that's gone into Tetra Vaal. Yet, I much prefer the feature-length Chappie.
Visually, I admire Neill Blomkamp as a science-fiction filmmaker. District 9, Chappie and Elysium are movies that I actually enjoyed upon their release. I enjoyed them all for different reasons, and some more than others. So I was interested in sitting down to watch his short films. I know what the man is capable of when given a decent budget. So I was hoping all of his earliest short films would be an indication of his talent as a filmmaker and a visual effects artist.
For the most part, Tetra Vaal is a step in the right direction to see how great he is when it comes to visual effects. I loved the effects on what I assume is meant to be Chappie before he is ever named. However, it's an advert for a robot. Nothing more, nothing less. It's got no real story, in terms of giving us more information. So it's very simple. If this had some form of narrative, I would have rated this higher. Watch for the visual effects. As they are the most impressive thing for Neill Blomkamp's first short film.