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First Look Review - NIGHTMARE CODE

Found footage thriller told through the perspective of an Artificial Intelligence.


Review by Emily Craig (@emillycraig)

Directed by: Mark Netter

Starring: Andrew J. West, Mei Melancon, Googy Gress




"Like many found footage films, the buildup is fairly slow but by no means is it boring; the intelligent script keeps the film engaging and interesting. Estimated at around $80,000 to make, Nightmare Code looks just as good as some of the higher budgeted found footage films."




Starring The Walking Dead’s cannibal leader Andrew J. West as main character Brett, Nightmare Code is an indie Sci-Fi flick about an intelligent computer programmer facing criminal charges who is hired to complete a top secret computer programme, after the creator goes on a murderous spree.
The programme in the film is named R.O.P.E.R, an innovative new surveillance system that aims to determine the emotions felt and predict further actions by those who are in the CCTV shot, which will revolutionise how criminals are caught. Nightmare Code is essentially a found footage film, without all the complications of a shaky camera; instead the film is split screened into four, as if the story were being told by the CCTV’s point of view and occasionally the odd webcam conversation. I found the split screen element more efficient than a typical found footage horror film, as it allows for what would have been multiple shots, to be shown all at once; this keeps the brain active and curious whilst watching, as I never stopped switching glance between cameras in case I missed something important.
Like many found footage films, the buildup is fairly slow but by no means is it boring; the intelligent script keeps the film engaging and interesting, albeit some of the computer terminology may confuse some people, but you will still most likely get the gist of the plot. Slow build ups are always accompanied by tense shocking scenes and Nightmare Code is no different. The split screen was used to its full capacity in one of my favourite sequences – where Brett sees the past recording of creator of the programme Foster Cotton (Googy Gress) turn on his colleagues and slaughter several of them. Why this split screen effect works so well here is because you can gradually see Foster making his way through the offices, exiting and entering different rooms, as he uses the surveillance system to find out which of his colleagues are being honest to him (if they aren’t, they die).
Nightmare Code is full of relevance; with today’s technology advancing rapidly, this film to me is an insight as to what life could be like down the line – we may not be able to even disguise our emotions or hide what our next actions will be because a computer system may have already predicted it for us. That is what is most scary about this film – the possibility that it could happen; sometimes that is more horrifying than vampires or werewolves.
Estimated at around $80,000 to make, Nightmare Code looks just as good as some of the higher budgeted found footage films. It’s got a well-made script and strong acting by everybody in the film, which is not always something I can say. The ending may seem a little farfetched to some but this is easily forgiven when remembering how tense and epic the rest of the film was.




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