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Sequence Break (2018)


Oz fixes older arcade games in a shop that will soon close down. He’s hyper-focused on his work, and his social skills are lacking somewhat, but he is well liked by his boss. A customer named Tess comes in one day, and the two begin an awkward walk down a genuinely cute and humorous romantic path. Meanwhile, a straggly stranger begins making dangerous visits to the shop at night, and Oz becomes obsessed with a video game for which he received a mysterious circuit board.


Writer/Director Graham Skipper has produced an interesting tale, woven here in Sequence Break. Protagonist, Oz, played by Chase Williamson (Cabaret of the Dead) gets drawn into a nightmare-ish mind game with an unknown video game, while taking the first steps into a relationship with Tess, played by Fabianne Therese (John Dies at the End).

Looking at the relationship between Oz and Tess, the two actors pulls off something quite remarkable. Their onscreen chemistry is electric, but also awkward and weird, as they are meant to portray the characters. Oz is a social misnomer, and Williamson does a great job - as does Therese.

Then there is the video game - one of the two antagonists of the movie. Skipper produces horrifying - weird - sequences as Oz is pulled to the game. A game that feels like it's drawing his very life from him.

Then there is The Man - a vagrant looking stalker, who starts to appear at the most inconvenient times...

With obvious influences from Videodrome, this science fiction/romance (that edges into bizarro) works very well. The interactions between Oz and the game are violently sexual, while his relationship with Tess are all but. The two leads carry the film well, and the underlying horror aspects support the narrative journey.

With a low budget the effects in play are astounding, and sharp direction keeps it from ever looking cheap.

The third act slips into the really strange - but fans of weird fic, or bizarro will love it. It's oddly gripping, and the twist is both unexpected and very welcoming - a firmly clever ending.

It's available now on DVD.

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