Sequence Break is a tech-nerd-sci-fi horror dream that starts promisingly but ends up in rather a mess for its finale. Set mostly in a garage with broken down and in need of fixing arcade games, mechanic OZ (Chase Williamson) is told by his boss that the business is going under and soon he will be looking for a new job. The boss is going away for a few weeks and leaves OZ to help close up shop. Oz meets a single lady who is very interested in him and at the same time finds a motherboard left in the garage by a menacing mad man. Oz plugs the motherboard into an old arcade and once he starts playing things start to go haywire.
The film starts successfully in luring me in, with a likeable turn by Chase Williamson. It seemed this would be a character I would be invested to get to know and follow however the other characters and acting let me down. Tess (Fabianne Therese) who plays the love interest comes on to Oz extremely forcefully which led me to think she had ulterior motives, but no, she just liked him, a lot. It’s with the introduction of Tess and the mad man who is obsessed with the motherboard that things start to take a turn for the worse.
I can see director Graham Skipper has been majorly influenced by David Cronenberg’s films which I think it homages nicely. With an obvious low budget Sequence Break still manages to create an eery atmosphere with some fantastic special effects and imagery. The scenes in which Oz is seduced and consumed by the ‘evil’ arcade game is fun and hypnotic. Yet fantastic mise-en-scene does not make a great film.
During the last 40 minutes of the film the plot becomes convoluted and extremely hard to follow. It had me confused and dare I say, bored, not knowing where the film was going and not given any clue on the direction of the narrative. A revision of the script would have been ideal.
Sequence Break has some great ideas, one of a kind imagery and does set it self apart from your run of the mill tech horror. However a confusing narrative and sub par acting lets the final product down.
SEQUENCE BREAK is directed by Graham Skipper and stars Chase Williamson, Fabianne Therese, Lyle Kanouse, and Audrey Wasilewski. It will be available on Shudder on May 24th.