October 9, 2015 Nightmare Code (Movie Review)
In today’s technologically advanced world, people and businesses rely on video chat, surveillance cameras, and computers for everyday life. It seems that privacy is becoming more and more obsolete with every new gadget and system created. Nightmare Code is a new Sci-Fi movie that explores the dangers of technology taking over. Directed and written by Mark Netter and co-written by M.J. Rotondi, Nightmare Code was released via Indie Rights digitally on September 29th and will be available on DVD October 27th.
Computer programmer and genius, Foster Cotton (Googy Gress: Parenthood 2010-2014, Pushing Daisies 2008), goes on a murderous rampage within the software company he works for, killing co-workers and himself. Since the technology he developed was left unfinished, programmer Brett Desmond (Andrew J. West: The Walking Dead 2014, Under the Dome 2015) is brought in to continue Cotton’s work. The program is called ROPER and it is an advanced behavioral recognition program. ROPER can analyze a person’s face, body language, as well as behavior and predict their future course of action. The program has been set up around the office to record and analyze everyone while in test mode.
After digging around in Cotton’s files, Brett discovers footage of the office before the massacre occurred and witnesses what led to his horrific killing spree, along with the actual murders and suicide. Although he is very disturbed and shaken, Brett picks up where Cotton left off and continues to work on the program. Soon after Brett gets started, strange things in the office begin to take place, including unsettling images on his computer and unexplained issues with ROPER. The work begins to take a toll on Brett’s sanity and he comes to believe that there is a malevolent mastermind working from within the software. Perhaps Cotton never intended to let his beloved program go, even in death.
Nightmare Code is shown through the use of pc monitors and cameras. The screen is typically split into four screens to show different rooms and perspectives at the same time. This proved to a very effective way to tell the story and stay within the theme of technology. Viewers are able to see ROPER scan, analyze, and predict behavior throughout the movie. Nightmare Code is Mark Netter’s directorial debut and was made on a small budget, though the production value and effects are quite remarkable. The thrills never feel cheap and the gore is well done.
While the majority of the actors were well cast, Andrew J. West did a particularly good job as lead. His performance was refreshing to watch and shows that he is a natural actor with star power behind him. Acting and effects are typically the areas where Independent films suffer due to budget restraints, but neither seemed to be an issue for Mark Netter and his crew. CrypticRock gives Nightmare Code 4 out of 5 stars.