Films like DEMON SEED and CUBE have always provided us with a common fear dealing with A.I.. As demented as the concept may be some tend to look at the good side of machines and how they have helped mankind evolve to a higher plane. The rest of us? We aren’t so sure and films like David Hewlett ‘s DEBUG will keep that fear instilled as we figure out the capacity of how far artificial intelligence can reach. Not everyone is a superhero or a thunder wielding god from another planet so for most dealing with evil computers is not their forte. For a group of hackers they find out first hand what this evil can look like. One passenger holds the key to their survival but little time on a massive spaceship is not the best setting to deal with such terror.
DEBUG is visually magnificent and should draw the viewer in from the start. The film kicks off with a great opening act that leads the viewer to understand what this system is capable of. The only issue is once the movie started while still bloody, there wasn’t much to fear with the story. You won’t have any issues with the way DEBUG was shot as there are multiple camera angles that will fixate your eyes from scene to scene. If the film was as violent and macabre as the two aforementioned titles then DEBUG would be an instant hit. Though it seems as if maybe the writers and filmmakers over analyzed how much was based on the visual effect than the level of creepiness. This does hurt the film as it makes you dream for more as the deaths came too short and fast. In a sense it would have been nice to see the A.I. play the group against each other more instead of just focusing so much on getting to the main character. Kaida (Jeananne Goossen) had more to do with the mission than originally perceived but still there wasn’t much on her reasoning other than making this her last trip in space. Little investment in the characters makes for a fast watch and that isn’t always a bad thing but DEBUG had the potential to produce more. Still it’s a clean and entertaining enough sci fi horror to turn some heads when it’s released on Tuesday.
We wanted so much more from DEBUG but still really enjoyed how it played out. If audiences don’t get too hung up on the lukewarm frights we feel they will enjoy DEBUG. The fear of the unknown future is a reason why these films usually work because the outcomes can be substantial or terrifying. DEBUG rides somewhere in between and will at least provide the viewer with yet another machine takeover journey. If you are a fan of great pov and visuals we would say DEBUG is a great choice for you but if you needs something a tad bit more on the sinister side then you may want to keep focusing on E.T.s in seats of A.I.s.
DEBUG is directed by David Hewlett and stars Jeananne Goossen, Jason Momoa, Adam Butcher, Adrian Holmes, Kerr Hewitt, Sidney Leeder and Jadyn Wong. It is available on DVD Tuesday June 8th courtesy of Ketchup Entertainment.