Writer: Arne Olsen (Screenplay)
Starring: Christina Ricci, John Cusack, Brendan Fletcher, Vicellous Shannon, Nicole Anthony, Oliver Rice
Plot: A 32-year-old woman suffering from bipolar disorder comes to suspect the proprietor of the state-of-the-art ”smart apartment” she and her husband just moved into is using the building’s residents as unwitting guinea pigs for a ”synthetic telepathy” brainwashing plot with dire global ramifications.
Tagline – Don’t fear the lies. Fear the truth.
Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Overly Confusing
Story: Distorted starts as married couple Lauren (Ricci) and Russell (Fletcher) move into a new state of the art apartment, with increased security to help give Lauren a better state of mind. With the apartment full of fellow successful people, Lauren sees her husband working giving her time to focus on finding inspiration to return to her artistic ways.
When Lauren starts to believe she is hearing things around the apartment, she starts to investigate believing that the apartment is part of an experiment which is also making it difficult for her to befriend anyone else in the apartment, but it could also be her bipolar disorder effecting her mind, though a meeting with a hacker Vernon Sarsfield (Cusack) could offer some answers.
Thoughts on Distorted
Characters – Lauren Curran is a sufferer of bipolar disorder and her own personal tragedy, she has spent time in a hospital and is now getting ready to return to her normal artistic life. In her new apartment she starts to believe she is part of an experiment and must learn the truth before becoming part of the experiment. Russell is her husband that is reluctantly supporting him even though he believes she is going off the wagon again, his character is mostly us wondering which side he is on. Vernon Sarsfield is a hacker that knows what is being used in the building technology and how to get around it, he helps Lauren along the way as he wants to bring the system down. When we look at the rest of the residents we go through the motions of who we are focusing on as they fill the generic fillers in the roles in the apartment.
Performances – Christina Ricci is our leading lady in this film and she is good for the most part, it must have been hard to react to certain flashing images moments. John Cusack is solid enough his character is meant to be withdrawn from the rest and he keeps that in his performance. The rest of the performances are average throughout no one gets the chance shine over Ricci.
Story – The story follows a couple that move into a new apartment after their own personal tragedy. It follows the wife who is suffering with her own mental disorders who starts to believe the apartment is being used for something very different. This story focuses on the idea of conspiracies which could be very interesting, but the suspense in the story never comes to light early enough and just ends up going into technical terms, rather than showing us what could be going on in the bigger picture. It does sometimes feel like they just throw her bipolar disorder in for the sake of it too. The story also turns to flashing images to try and show the confusions in Lauren’s mind.
Action/Mystery – There is action sequences, though it is soft to watch and never brings you to the edge of your seat. The mystery is around what is going on and what has Lauren uncovered or is it in her head.
Settings – The locations used mostly keep us in the new apartment and the strange events going on within it, when we leave we feel like we are getting involved in the conspiracy side of the film.
Special Effects – The effects are a weakness in this film because most of the time we just resort to flashing images to show what is happening to Lauren.
Final Thoughts – This is a standard action mystery that tries to give us the old conspiracy idea only for it to rely on flashing images to get tell us what is going on.
Overall: Standard action mystery film.