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January 10, 2011

FMWL Indie Spotlight - Remote

(2008, Dir. by Marc Roussel.)

Most teenagers spend a majority of their time pondering the mysteries of the world.  They're young, they don't know what's coming. (HINT: Prepare for PAIN!)  These mysteries often take the shape of the opposite sex, or of vehicles, or of jobs, or of other practical things.  The Mike, however, had a certain particular mystery that kept his mind on edge for years.  That mystery was, of course, the ending of Terminator 2.

You all know what I mean.  John Connor assists the T-800 in destroying itself, so the future won't happen.  Problem is, John Connor sent his own father from the future to the past of The Terminator to impregnate his mother, which means that stopping the future would stop his birth in the past and that by stopping his birth in the past he would stop himself from being able to send his father to the past to stop the future.  That all blew my mind.  Some say time isn't linear, and that that fact explains this, but my brain is linear-ish.  And thus, these things kept me up nights.

Remote, a twenty-minute terror flick from writer/director Marc Roussel, taps into that interconnected area of my brain perfectly.  On a night in early 2008, a man (Ron Basch) who's stuck in a snow storm with the cable out comes across a strange TV channel which appears to be his apartment.  But this version of his apartment has a '70s flair and a young blonde (Sarah Silverthorne) in her pajamas in it.  Now, us guys have all had that fantasy, but this is not his imagination.  It's the same night, 30 years earlier.  Oh, and she sees him too.  And, since the volume's turned up, they can chat too.

Pleasantries are exchanged and, at first, this rift in the continuum of space and time seems pretty cool.  But the trouble is that the man learns, via our beloved internet, that the woman was the victim of an unsolved homicide...on this very night 30 years earlier.  The game is set.

What follows after the brief set-up is a series of twists and turns that kept me sucked in perfectly.  Though the past/future dynamic of each twist certainly had my head spinning the same way Terminator 2's finale did, I was very grateful for that.  From a horror standpoint, Remote features an excellent amount of tension and gore for its brief runtime.  The performers do a good job of selling the mystery of the film, and a couple of reveals are very effective surprises. 

Roussel's script certainly raises some questions, but the tone is relatively light and cancels out any attempts my brain made to be too logical. All the pieces might not come together as the story wraps up, but that just made Remote more appealing to me.  I spent a lot of time thinking about this one once it was over, and spent all of that time smiling.

Unfortunately, most of the things I thought about can't be shared without letting the cat out of the bag, so I'll simply warn you all to look out.  Marc Roussel's Remote is out there and it's an infections little piece of horror. 

For more information, head over to Red Sneakers Media for more information on Remote and Roussel's other films.  


R.D. Penning said...

Damn I want to see this! Sounds right up my alley!!! Thanks for the review Mike

The Man-Cave said...

I have a review on Remote scheduled to post this coming Thursday. Sat on it for too long and cannot express how much this one caught me by surprise. Loved it but wish it could have been longer. Essentially that is a good thing to say about a film. Glad you kept the spoilers to a minimum (I said even less in my review) because the surprise is half the fun. Glad to find a brother in arms on this one.

Anonymous said...

Glad you dug it. As I understand it, Mr. Roussel is working on the feature length treatment!

The Mike said...

Ooh, most excellent James! I would love to see a feature treatment of this one!