An unusual take on purposeful LoFiSciFi, an mock space mission, designed to test a small group of hopeful astronauts ability to be cooped up in an artificial environment for 400 days brings about some unusual events when the team are faced with the unknown.
With its slow beginnings in prison, where one of the members of the team is working off the end of a 4 day bender, he’s soon released and on his way to a press conference before being shut away in an underground bunker for 400 days with his ex girlfriend, a jock and a sentimental youngster. The team have the task of spending 400 days in a simulated space environment but are actually situated in a secret bunker in the desert. They are promised a few curve balls and are faced with their first during a simulated error on take off. Each member of the team has their own agenda about what the “real” agenda is. After a few days and some rumbling they lose contact with mission control and are unable to upload their podcast to the web. unsure if this is “another curved ball” they wait it out, 373 days later, and after each member of the team have started experiencing vivid hallucinations a strange man breaks into the unit the air becomes thin and polluted and samples of moon dust is present. After some deliberation they suit up and explore the world around them and the mystery get darker and more bizarre.
One of those movies where it’s hard to say too much because the plot thickens throughout. Initially I thought that this was going to be like Moon (2009), totally based within the confines of a futuristic setting, watching the mental humans running around getting intergalactic cabin fever, but it transfers into something much deeper. Once they venture out of their confines into the pitch black waste land in their pretend space suits (motorcycle suits) like techno versions of alice in wonderland. The world they find is both filled with danger and uncertainty, every situation can be read in two different ways either everything is part of an elaborate simulation or the world has changed in a dramatic way while the peeps were underground. Literally every person they meet, every situation even the interactions between the team could be judged that one of them is “acting” to keep up a charade, or are they? The ability to keep the viewer guessing for so very long is outstanding but the absence of any answers is indeed frustrating and intriguing.
R – Moon (2009), The Signal (2014), Calvaire (2004)
L – Frustrating endings, Lo fi sci fi, Cannibal films
A – What’s the big thing about open endings!?