18 February 2021 | TopDawgCritic
A weirdly smart low-budget alternate universe sci-fi social satire, that doesn't deliver at the finish line
Documentary/short filmmaker Noah Hutton scored, wrote, edited and directed this genius little out-of-the-ordinary minimalist sci-fi gem. It's a weirdly smart, very low-budget alternate universe sci-fi social satire, that was so well directed, shot, scored and cast, you actually feel engaged that you're in this Nolan-esque parallel universe.
Dean Imperial's performance excellently portrayed that (alternate universe) 1980's blue-collar worker struggling to make ends meet, that's willing to take risks to get ahead. The upstate NY forest setting was well used and shot. What really impressed me was how perfect Hutton's score was. It was right up there with the eeriness sound in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. Had his score not been that good, the viewer may have been unconvinced of this alternate universe, and that this was a simple cheaply done low budget film in a forest.
What sadly failed this film, was better/faster pacing, and a shorter runtime of its 108 mins, that felt much longer. There just wasn't enough substance to fill the runtime, and the pacing made it that much more aggravating. There were many irrelevant and long dragged out/unnecessary scenes, with plot and technical issues. What made it worse, is that Hutton did such a great job keeping you engaged and in suspense enough to hang on until the end, that ultimately failed to deliver anything satisfying to his audience to make the ending worth waiting for.
Nevertheless, it's a good one-time-viewing film. It may not be for everyone, and really, it wasn't for me, as I'm an adrenaline and action junkie, but I also do appreciate unique and great filmmaking, and Hutton delivered that - on a very low budget.