25 May 2018 | kannibalcorpsegrinder
An enjoyably twisted if slightly flawed effort
Working as an arcade repairman, a loner trying to carry on after losing his job at the store finds a likeminded woman to build a new relationship with only for her disappearance to coincide with a disturbing new game that begins to eat away as his mind the more he repairs it.
For the most part, this one was quite an enjoyable effort. One of the finer aspects of this one is that this genuinely builds up an effective relationship for the two of them that they embark on. There's a sweetness and innocence to the way they hang out and date with each other, bonding over their geeky thoughts and musings they each share, and along with the general nervousness of the way they talk to each other creates a truly winning couple that serves as the basis for the film. Once this settles into the more horrific aspects of the story, there's a decidedly chilling look at the way it affects his psyche. Starting out with the chilling sequences of the flashing strobe-lights that are effectively reminiscent of the laser lights found in the games themselves while also witnessing strange shadowy figures or intense fuzzy static screaming in his head, this initial turning point into the supernatural allows the later scenes in the shop showing those who play the game to be affected greatly in some outstanding sequences. From the controls on the console turning into sensual objects and being tormented by distorted visions of everyone around being deformed and mutated, this is quite striking and far more gruesome as it goes along. Once in the later half, with the complete sensual overload of the game trapping him in its nightmarish world and subjecting him to the numerous rounds of mind-bending sequences of the console turning into mush, flashing visions of his friend's bloodied face screaming for help or the flesh melting off his face, there's a truly enjoyable and frantic energy created by this newfound setting. As this is combined with the big confrontation inside the game world for the finale which is full of impressively handled special effects and a great goopy body-horror aesthetic to the material, it really creates a fine high-point to end this one on. These here are what manage to hold this up over it's few minor flaws. One of the biggest problems is the fact that the central machine is a complete mystery as there's absolutely nothing given here as to what it is or why it's haunted. The thing just shows up and starts messing with him, so the entire concept behind it is entirely confusing as to what it's purpose is or what it's trying to do which is based around a rather twisting and convoluted storyline that never makes any sense. Due to the shorter length, it has a bit more plot than anticipated offering a lot of different elements here which overlooks parts of the story including what the actual point of the device is supposed to do or even who the visitor shown later is supposed to mean. These few small elements really hold this one down somewhat.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.