2013. Director. Caradog W James.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
THE MACHINE is a low budget science fiction thriller that looks incredible. It opens with an intense opening scene that is not only candy for the eyes but is also horrific. From the get go you know that you're in safe hands. The SFX are immediately impressive and the script is already clearly solid. The film is set in a future setting and tells the story a scientist working for the military to resign super artificial intelligence that is self-aware. The title of THE MACHINE refers to his latest project, a self-conscious female droid who hasn't the comprehension of her capabilities. Using knowledge of her master's private life she tries to piece together a human level of existence. The consequence of her strength turn violent and deadly and the greater powers behind the project begin to exploit her. There is so much to grasp with this impressive film. Firstly it was made on a limited budget of less than £1 pounds and yet has the polish and aesthetic of a multi million dollar Hollywood movie. The first half of the film hints to some classic sci-fi of the 80s and could be described as John Carpenter meets Ridley Scott. The set design is fantastic and the score is hugely reminiscent of Carpenter. And then the second half evolves and becomes highly sophisticated and hi-tech. As the story unravels the film begins to draw comparisons to films like SPECIES and SPLICE. Clearly THE MACHINE draws influence from all kinds of sources (GHOST IN THE SHELL is another big one) but it is still very much it's own thing. Wonderful performances, a smart script and a disturbing psychological thriller component make it a hugely impressive film. People with short attention spans might switch off because the story does meander and unfold at a very slow pace. This made it more haunting for me and allowed me to grasp the human story that underlines the greater narrative. If you love smart sci-fi then definitely check out THE MACHINE.