I’d imagine that the only genre that is more difficult to make an independent film in than horror is science fiction, especially those that are set in outer space. There are many ways to mask things in horror films, covering the fact that not a lot of money has gone into a particular production. With sci-fi, I feel as though things have to be a bit more precise. The effects have to look impressive and the setting has to feel somewhat realistic in order for it to be successful in any way. Luckily for genre fans, David Hewlett has produced a pretty great sci-fi flick with Debug.
A group of young cyber-criminals are transported to an abandoned prison freighter, in order to shut down the remnants of an old warden network. They quickly realize that killing any and all processes is not as easy as they originally planned, when a rogue program proves to be part human and very dangerous.
It feels like there aren’t very many science fiction movies to write about these days. There have been a few over the past couple of years that have had to do with space travel, but they have either been high budget Hollywood flicks or indie films that have mashed multiple genres together. There are no more real, pure sci-fi flicks around. Debug, on the other hand does feel like a straight-up sci-fi film. Sure, there are some elements of horror strewn about, especially in the more brutal kills… which I promise you will enjoy, by the way… but overall, David Hewlett has created a breath of fresh air in genre film.
I always get nervous when watching indie flicks because I don’t want to get stuck sitting through 80 minutes or more of terrible acting. I am happy to say that that is not the case with Debug. Everyone does a wonderful job portraying their characters with standout performances from Adrian Holmes, Jeananne Goossen, and Jason Momoa. Goossen’s ‘Kaida’ is badass, while still showing off a softer side and I loved Momoa’s more ‘outlandish’ scenes with his silly inflections on words and unusual cadence. It was certainly different seeing him in a role of this nature, as opposed to the ones we’ve grown accustomed to seeing (Conan the Barbarian or Khal Drogo).
While some of the outside/establishing shots of the space freighter could have looked better, I was still extremely impressed with how everything turned out. Like I’ve mentioned, low-budget sci-fi is hard to pull off, so I have to give major credit to Hewlett and his special effects team for presenting such a good-looking flick. On top of all of the cool techy stuff seen throughout the film, there are some pretty awesome and pretty surprising death scenes that utilize awesome practical effects to present the carnage.
If you are a science fiction fan and are looking for another flick to add to your collection, look no further than Debug. It is available now on DVD from Ketchup Entertainment.
I give this one 3 rogue processes out of 5.