MOVIE REVIEW: Inverse (2014)
Written & directed by Matt Duggan.
Starring Josh Wingate, Alanna Prière, Michelle Lawrence, Morlan Higgins, John Burish, and Chris Pauley.
The film opens on a man, naked and disoriented, drowning in the swimming pool of a suburban home. He surfaces and stumbles into the house, which is filled with sympathy cards lamenting the death of a man named Max. As he looks around the room, he realizes that the dead man in the photographs bears his face. With no memory of where he came from, the man must discover who Max is and, more importantly, his own identity.
I can’t really describe this sci-fi thriller as full of twist and turns. Instead, I’d characterize it as a constantly churning vortex of confusion. No one is who they appear to be and everyone has more secrets than they know what to do with. The main character is naïve to the danger he faces until a mysterious stranger in painfully tacky clothing fills him in on their shared origin. Through surveillance footage, video diaries and blurred memories, the protagonist learns what kind of person he is and why he is in the house of his deceased doppelgänger.
Fast-paced direction and gritty dialogue keep the excitement building throughout the entire movie. While there is some violence, the stakes are made most apparent with some pretty harrowing threats by a sinister man in a black suit. As a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock, I firmly believe that suggested violence is more effective than visual gore at inducing terror. Obsession is a major theme within Inverse, which takes Schrödinger’s quantum mechanics thought experiment to a whole new level.
One of the highlights of the picture is an excellent score by award-winning composer Austin Wintory that elevates the film and deftly guides the crescendo of the plot’s intensity. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the lead actor, Josh Wingate. He delivers a stunning performance as this frightened man going through a whirlwind of emotions, slowly regaining his memories. A solid supporting cast bolsters Wingate’s performance while playing characters propelled by their own morally questionable motives.
Beautifully shot, well-acted and relentlessly perplexing, Inverse is the dark sci-fi thriller to watch this winter. It recently won the award for Best Science Fiction Feature at the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival. You can see the film at the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival on January 23rd at 11:00 AM (tickets available here). You can also purchase a DVD copy here. In the meantime, check out the film’s website, like Inverse on Facebook, and follow the film on Twitter.
“You’re not you. Remember that.”
If you enjoyed Marlo’s review, you can find the rest of her work right HERE on Sci-Fi Bloggers.
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