The company's owner explains their project is to create an artificial intelligence that can go anywhere in cyberspace and be able to see through any camera, hear and speak through any phone line, hack computers at will, and even control remotely accessed systems (like the SCV, or the orbital laser system that shot at Bo earlier). However, on more than one occasion, Pericles demonstrates powers that it is unlikely that a computer could have, most notably the ability to levitate a garden hose (a decidedly low-tech device). See more »
BLACK RIVER is a great retelling of old TV show episodes, like the "Star Trek" episode where Kirk eventually discovers the townsfolk have been worshiping a computer in a cave. Koontz, who over the years has turned into the best of the three major horror writers with a series of novels that have become downright metaphysical, obviously loves "The Twilight Zone" and "Star Trek" and probably "The Outer Limits." Jay ("Jerry McGuire") Mohr is a writer, originally from Vermont, who has become disillusioned with Los Angeles, and checks out a small Pacific Northwest town only to find he can't leave. Cameras are mounted on every traffic light, in every store and dwelling, and monitor everyone's movements while an unseen hand apparently controls the whole thing. Mohr is excellent as the frustrated prisoner, and is backed up by stellar performances from Ann (sister of Joan and John) Cusack as a too-happy waitress and Lisa ("House, MD") Edelstein as her architect sister who also has become trapped in the bucolic town of Black River. Other than what appears to be a limited budget and the fact it was clearly shot in Canada or some place other than the U.S., it is hard to tell this is a TV movie and not a theatrical release. The writing is first rate, and the actors have a ball with their roles in this old-fashioned paranoia thriller. Highly recommended. I can't wait for Hollywood to adapt any of Koontz's more recent output, which eschew standard horror plots in favor of near-transcendental stories interlaced with intermittent bouts of action.
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