‘Blu-ray or Bust’
DISTORTED (2018, R, 86 minutes, BRIDGEGATE PICTURES/MINDS EYE ENTERTAINMENT)
Well folks, I’m not going to waste your time on this one. No need to have 90’s ‘flashbacks’… if you were even born or remember those times.
The story focuses on a couple, Lauren (Christina Ricci of CASPER, SLEEPY HOLLOW, and SPEED RACER) and Russell Curran (Brendan Fletcher of FREDDY VS. JASON, RV, and AIR BUD), who moves into a SMART building. At the start, you are led to believe that Lauren might be a borderline schizophrenic, having visions and nightmares. She is your unreliable protagonist that drives the plot. You are never sure how real her visions are. So, when unusual events and the building seem to be twisting her reality, you are left wondering.
In point, DISTORTED hinges on the audience’s fear of being watched, someone seizing control of a fully-automated building to mess with the residents… or whatever. This is where the movie failed for me. Yeah, you could have pulled this off about two decades ago, but we are living in different times.
Having flashing images on the TV and other weird things, the undertone of a hidden agenda at play, is easy enough to sniff out. Her visions are mainly used as a way to interject jumps and scary pictures to create tension. We, as a society, have advanced far beyond this fear thanks to the Information Age. Everyone already knows that we are constantly watched, one way or another. The government, cell phones, and even Amazon knows everything about you. The 90’s and early 2000’s had a rash of movies on this topic… BAIT, ENEMY OF THE STATE, CONSPIRACY THEORY, HACKERS, JACOB’S LADDER, THE TRUMAN SHOW, THE MATRIX (if you dare)… plenty of Orwellian stories. DISTORTED did nothing to add to the genre. Oh, and John Cusack, in his brief moments, didn’t offer anything to elevate the project.
As the credits rolled, I didn’t even consider investing more time by watching the Special Features. If you need the Special Features to explain the awesomeness of a film, you have failed. To add, finishing this review se…
Film Grade: D-
Special Features: uhhh…
Blu-ray Necessary: Absolutely Not
-- James S. Austin