Distorted (2018)

Director: Rob W King

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.

PerformancesChristina 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 John Cusack is solid enough his character is meant to be withdrawn from the rest and he keeps that in his performance.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.

StoryThe 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/MysteryThere 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.

SettingsThe 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 EffectsThe 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.

Scene of the Movie –
The final act is the most interesting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The flashing images just get annoying.

Final ThoughtsThis 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.




ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – W – War of the Worlds (2005)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Josh Friedman, David Koepp (Screenplay) H.G. Wells (Novel)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins, Rick Gonzalez, Yul Vazquez


Plot: As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival.

Tagline – They’re already here

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Sci-Fi Spectacular


Story: War of the Worlds starts when the deadbeat dad figure Ray (Cruise) is left to look after his children Rachel (Fanning) and Robbie (Chatwin) for a weekend, while he ex-wife Mary Ann (Otto) goes away with her new partner. We see early on the problems and strain in the relationship, but when an unknow storm hit New York a robotic creature comes out of the ground, killing everyone.

Ray grabs his kids and gets the hell out of the city racing across the country in hope of getting to Mary Ann where the kids want to be, the problem is the America is going into chaos and it becomes survival of the fittest against these unkillable robots.


Thoughts on War of the Worlds


Characters – Ray is the deadbeat dad that has always be a let down to his kids, he doesn’t live in the nicest house, but the neighbours all love him. He is distant from his children after the divorce and after the attack happens this everyday man must do everything he can to keep his children safe. Rachel is his youngest child, she is insecure about being away from her mother, needing to put trust in her father, reacting panicked during the attacks like a young girl would, but strangely offering mature advice with dealing with the older brother. Mary Ann is the ex-wife and mother that is the target for the journey across America. Robbie is the eldest son that does hate his father, as he sees the good in his father he wants to join the fight back against the invaders. Harlan Ogilvy is a stranger that offers help only to be the one that could put Ray’s family in the most danger.

PerformancesTom Cruise is wonderful in this leading role, he proves he can be the everyman in this role, he shows the vulnerable moments needed as his character only has one goal, save his family. Dakota Fanning continued to show she was a force in the future of Hollywood with her performance where she shines. Tim Robbins gives us a truly creepy character while the rest of the cast is great too.

StoryThe story is a modern version of one of the greatest radio recordings of all time, we bottle the story down nicely to focus on one father that is doing everything he can to keep his children safe during an alien invasion. Sure, the ending is weak, but this is much like Jurassic Park, it isn’t about the aliens, its about the people surviving the situation. The story is simple to follow to as we see the family getting caught up in different moments of the attack each one showing the panic that would surround it.

Adventure/Sci-FiThe adventure is filled with peril and shock as the family races for survival, this survival will show the horrors of what will happen if they don’t become safe. The sci-fi side of the film showed us just how the aliens came to invade, came rom beneath us and prepared against our own weapons.

SettingsThe film shows us the destruction of the aliens leave in their path, we see how the big cities are destroyed and how the quiet location are just as dangerous.

Special EffectsThe effects for the film are fantastic, from the early destruction to the special look of the wide shots of the attack going on.

Scene of the Movie –
Basement scene with Harlan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The end of the story is always weak.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the great modern sci-fi films, it modernises one of the greatest stories, we have excellent special effects and a story that is simple enough to be effective.


Overall: Sci-Fi fans must be watching.