27th Aug2017

Frightfest 2017: ‘Incontrol’ Review

by Mondo Squallido

Stars: Brittany Allen, Levi Meaden, Rory J. Saper, Ajna Savcic, Sarah Troyer, Christopher Rosamond, Valerie Planche, David LeReaney, Maddie Dixon-Poirier, Griffin Cork | Written and Directed by Kurtis David Harder


Samantha (Anja Savcic) is a young girl who juggles her life around looking after her mother, her job at a cafe and her Sociology studies at university. It’s a pretty simple existence until her friend Mark (Levi Meaden) introduces her to his friend Marissa (Sarah Troyer) and a smooth talking British chap by the name of  Victor (Rory J. Saper), who recently quit university and just like when you stay in a hotel – decided to take home a small memento.

When I say a small memento, I mean a device that allows the users to infiltrate and take control of somebody else’s mind and body. Of course, given this opportunity to see the world through someone else’s eyes and do things they usually wouldn’t be able to do, it starts off pretty simple and innocent. Things like Samantha being able try peanut butter for the first to the group crashing a rich kids’ house party – it’s all about having a bit of fun right? Well, it starts off that way. With a world of literally endless opportunities and the group’s differing opinions on what may or not be morally sound – it’s bound to go haywire sometime right?

Incontrol has a great concept. It’s one of those “I’ve seen this before!” sort of deals, but has its own personality and puts small spins on the themes presented and its overall concept that it makes it somewhat unique and an interesting watch. What I liked about this film was the lack of scientific terminology or explanation on how the device works . The film just throws you in, says the machine can do what it does and lets you experience what the characters do with it. That being said, some of the dialogue at times can come off as slightly awkward and childish and could have benefited from being worked on a little more. That’s really the only gripe I have with the writing.

As well as being accessible and believable from a scientific standpoint – the philosophical aspect of the film isn’t stuffed down your throat and doesn’t get tedious. Characters are presented with the moral aspects of what they choose to do as well as the physical and mental aspects. Themes like trust, greed and loyalty are explored. Although weak dialogue at times, all the characters are believable and rounded. As well as that, there are some interesting developments to say the least throughout. 

Incontrol is well acted, nicely shot and edited as well having a simple, but effective score that goes from ambient to electronic as well as utilising lovely piano pieces.

All in all, 

Incontrol was a very enjoyable piece of Canadian sci-fi cinema. As well as enjoying the film at face value, it will make you think and I think that is something that is lacking in contemporary cinema.

**** 4/5


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