Artie Shase, Jackie Dallas, Nina E. Jordan, David Silva, Myles Brown
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Movie Review: Look Into the Fire
I have to be honest. I get a little nervous whenever an indie sci-fi/thriller crosses my desk. It's not that I don't enjoy them. I do. It's just that they're simply difficult to pull off well within the realm of low-budget indie filmmaking.
I was pleasantly surprised by writer/director Tim Morrill's Look Into the Fire, an intelligent and engaging sci-fi thriller that takes its modest budget and makes the mosf of it. In the film, Adam (Artie Shase) is a graduate neuropsych student partnered up with Samantha (Jackie Dallas), Seth (Myles Brown), and Jerry (David Silva). They have a promising group thesis - they've discovered a way to access and introduce memories into the brain. However, deadlines are closing in and their volunteer subjects are repeatedly "no shows."
Against their better judgment, and more than a few clinical ethics issues, Adam introduces himself as a test subject.
I think you likely know where we go from here.
The good news is that you don't completely know where we're going from here. Morrill keeps us guessing just enough to always keep things interesting and the film's talented ensemble ensures we stay invested in this film that becomes a lot more than we initially think it's going to be.
There's a dark side, of course, to the ability to get inside someone's brain and Morrill's not afraid to go there in multiple ways. Artie Shase really shines as Adam, bringing to life an ambitious and promising young man forced to deal with his inner-demons and outer influences. This manifests in multiple surprising ways. Let's just say that Morrill's story has tremendous integrity here and I remained captivated throughout even if at times I longed for more of a sense of anxiety and dread.
While Shase seems to be the power player here, he's surrounded by a terrific ensemble including a tremendous Jackie Dallas and solid turns by both Myles Brown and David Silva. Nina E. Jordan also hits a homer as Adam's sister Janet. Gregg Henry is here relatively briefly but impresses. You may think to yourself "I know that guy." Indeed, Henry was just seen as Grandpa Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
I would expect Look Into the Fire to get picked up by a solid indie distributor and there's no doubt it'll find its crowd likely via streaming. It's difficult to pull off an effective indie sci-fi/thriller but Morrill has done it and I'll be looking forward to checking out his future efforts.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic