7.2/10
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The Brain Hack (2015)

A metaphysical thriller for the digital generation.

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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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A metaphysical thriller for the digital generation.

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Short | Sci-Fi | Thriller

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11 February 2015 (UK)  »

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Hackeo cerebral  »

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Needed more sharpness in the construction and delivery, even though the ideas are good and the film quite smart
15 February 2015 | by See all my reviews

A film student and a computer science student join together in a project for the search for a way to jump open the human brain to connect with patterns and shapes in order to connect to what may or may not be God – a project which understandably brings the attention of religious authorities.

There are some good ideas in this film and as it sets out to do, it does produce some good tension on the way to a clever conclusion, and it generally works. The concept is delivered with a rather obvious exposition style, but it all sounds smart so it makes it work quite well, whether it is true or not. From here we develop along that idea while also bringing in some danger hinted at in the opening and while it does mostly work, the limitations of the film are also hard to avoid. Firstly, it has no business being 20 minutes long – particularly not in light of the ending, whose logic would very much indicate that it should not be 20 minutes long! The long time also means we have lots of scenes of the two characters talking in front of computer screens, which makes it feel very low budget and restricted. When the danger comes it is also of the low budget variety, with a static dark figure wearing a mask – and the film relies too much on that plus some jump scares rather than building a genuine sense of risk and tension in the characters themselves. Okay, from a narrative point of view this makes sense, but I don't think that was a deliberate decision not to do.

The limits of the film also extend to the two actors, neither of whom really are particularly good or convincing. The low budget nature of the film also shows in the production values, and the film does have a limited look to many of the location it uses; I am not sure if it is a student film, but it does feel like one made at university. Despite the limits though, it does have a good flow to it and I quite liked the clever ending, but it badly needed to be shorter, smarter, and sharper.


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