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Sequence Break (2017)

'Sequence Break' is a small indie Sci-fi Horror project that came out in the peak era of success for the pop culture phenomenon 'Stranger Things'. As with so many other productions coming out around this time, it's not difficult to see the cultural impact that 'Stranger Things' had in movies and television. Sequence Break is no different, taking huge inspiration from the tone and 80's time capsule that seemed to be all the rage in the late 2010s decade.

The plot of 'Sequence Break' is a rather confusing one to try and translate eligibility into words, but and intriguing one nonetheless. Fairly early on in its runtime, this film grabbed my attention much more than anything else I have watched in recent memory. And although it felt like quite a slow build before things start to reveal themselves and become more logically digestible, I couldn't help but find myself completely immersed in its complexity. If bold and unique storytelling combined with hallucinogenic body horror is something that piques your curiosity than I can safely say that this movie is one to tick all of those boxes.

This is the directorial debut from writer and director Graham Skipper, and given the small set location and clear lack of budget its hard not to appreciate the heart and passion gone into bringing this microbudget production to fruition. There are certainly some amateur aspects to Skipper's direction and the framing of many of his shots throughout, but in comparison to countless other first time efforts I've seen, 'Sequence Break' is by no means worthy of a critical annihilation. I think over time and the right projects Skipper could be a horror director worth paying attention to.

As for the cast, Oz played by Chase Williamson and Tess played by Fabianne Therese are the focal point of the story. Horror aspects aside, this as a basic love story between the two main cast members and for that to be convincing and investible as an audience, the chemistry between the two of them has to be believable. This is one thing I found both Williamson and Therese flawlessly executed. Not only did I get drawn in by their relationship, but the character development that comes with both Oz and Tess as the come together over the course of the movies runtime felt so genuine and relatable.

Due the overall minor budget, it is inevitable that the CGI side of the visual effects are not going to be that great. However, I did find that with a slight use of my own imagination, I could visualise the ideas and direction in which they were trying to take the few minor scenes in which CGI is at the forefront. On the contrasting side of the visual effects is the Cronenberg-esq use practical and makeup, and for me, this along with the overall narrative is the strongest side of this production. Dripping in buckets of Body fluids and some rather creative stop-motion animation, the team behind this did a fantastic job if you take into consideration the limited funds and resources at their disposal.

Overall, 'Sequence Break' is a very ambitious project that for the most part succeeds when all of the odds are stacked against it. This is certainly not going to appeal to all fans of the horror genre, however the select group of people out there that can appreciate small indie projects like this, will most likely walk away from this with an element of satisfaction and appreciation. If this review has you curious, I would say due to its short 80 minute run time, 'Sequence Break' is certainly worthy of your time.



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