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A.M.I. (2019)


A seventeen year old girl forms a co-dependent relationship with an artificial intelligence on her phone and goes on a murderous rampage.

Review

Killer cell phone AI malarkey horror films appear to be a real thing these days. I've seen a good number of them, and they routinely suck. From the incoherent mess that was the feature length Selfie, to the poorly executed Bedeviled, they are, for the most part, a trash fire. AMI doesn't really fair that badly - although IMDB might disagree. Unlike something like DeadCon, where, first five minutes aside, the plot has zero redeeming features, AMI does have a solid premise behind it, with Cassie loosing her mother in an accident, and then finding a cellphone with an advanced AI on it. When she changes the voice of the AI to match her mother, the malicious code starts to influence her actions. I know it sounds silly, but what horror film doesn't?

Sadly, the execution isn't really there and it feels like another heartless horror flick - all due to one main flaw.

Writer and director Rusty Nixon (Down the Line) has a short, but interesting looking catalog, with a slew of films that I would like to watch. On paper, at least, he's making films that subverse the genres, which makes him a fascinating film maker in my eyes. AMI gets a bit off track in the third act, which lets the film down, but the biggest flaw is the runtime. Clocking 77 minutes the film doesn't have enough time to create a first act, and the second is rushed. It wants to get to the manipulation of the cast too quickly and feels pushed along. It spoils what should have been outstanding.

The cast do a reasonable job - Debs Howard (Even Lambs Have Teeth) shoulders the film solidly enough, the FX are fine, and the direction is solid.

It just doesn't have time to find its feet.

And I wanted to settle into it. With everything else in the film being good, it wasn't the sort of film I just wanted over. Shame.

A good idea, with a solid horror under the hood, AMI was nearly great.


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