Monday, 5 January 2015

Hereafter (2013)

This is the first film & TV project I ever backed on Kickstarter.  The reason I only just got around to watching the film on DVD is that they originally shared it with backers in electronic format, and I watched it in that format.  The electronic version is free to watch on youtube by the by - just click on the image above if you want to check it out.

In a dystopian future, society is separated between the 'natural born' and 'mod born'.  The difference isn't explicitly stated, but it appears that 'mod born' are genetically engineered in vitro to be stronger, faster and perhaps smarter.  Thus there is considerable surprise when it is announced that some natural borns will be invited to participate in Guardian training.  Guardians are the elite paramilitary/police of this future society.  The final stage of which is the "Fear Tank", a process that frequently takes either the sanity or life of those undergoing it.

It's understandable in light of the above that when a natural born named Katcher receives an invitation, she has mixed feelings about it.  Ultimately the chance of a better life trumps the likelihood of washing out or dying, and she chooses to take the risk (just as well or there probably wouldn't be a story).

Of course, not everyone is pleased to see natural born 'pigs' being allowed into the Guardians hallowed halls, and Katcher will face considerable challenges in her training.  But perhaps the greatest danger is something she could never imagine: a mysterious, possibly supernatural presence known as 'the Ghost'.

Will Katcher survive the Fear Tank?  Will she face the Ghost?  Well, there's a link to watch the film and it's only 36 minutes long, so you can find out for yourself if you want.

I like Hereafter's world building.  We never get "Well, as you know Stan ..." style exposition drops, but plenty of detail about the setting is implied naturally in the course of conversations between the characters.  It's quite deftly done.  The action sequences - a chase and a fistfight - are also well staged, and the cast is strong.  If the film has a weakness, it's that it tries to be both a standalone story and a pilot for a possible TV show, and I think it works much better as the latter.  Whether a series will eventuate is of course hard to say, but as of a couple of months ago there were apparently some production companies looking at making it.  I hope something comes of that, as I'd enjoy seeing more of this world.

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