Reboot (2012)

Starring Emily Somers, Travis Aaron Wade, Martin Copping, Sonalii Castillo, Janna Bossier, Troy Vincent, Charlie Weirauch, Traci Moslenko, Justin M. Via

Directed by Joe Kawasaki

Expectations: High, the trailer was great.

In the modern age, horror films rarely scare or provide anything we haven’t seen before. The genre has moved into satiating viewers with extreme, sadistic pleasures, instead of interesting ideas and fun scares. But in Reboot, Joe Kawasaki’s Kickstarter-funded, cyberpunk short film, he sets his sights on something truly horrific: Internet terrorism. I have no idea if what is outlined in the film is actually possible, but the idea alone is frightening. Reboot isn’t truly a horror film, but its implications will haunt your thoughts for days as you log into your social media accounts and take it all for granted.

Reboot begins with an intro reminiscent of Koyaanisqatsi, showing us wonderful time-lapse photography of Los Angeles while a radio interview with a couple of hackers plays over the top of it. This intro goes on a little longer than I think it needed to, but it does set up the premise of the film incredibly well. When the title card drops at the end of the intro, and we fade into our heroine lying on the floor with an iPhone glued to her hand, we know exactly the implications of the situation she’s in.

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The Arriviste (2012)

Starring Eamon Speer, Mark Fernandes, Gary Devirgilio, Tom Morwick, Raymond Turturro, Paige Ambroziak, Sam Charny, P.J. Cross

Directed by Paschal Santschi

Most low-budget films go the horror route, and while the intro to The Arriviste features a dude getting his hand chopped off, it is quickly apparent that the goal is something other than gory trash. The Arriviste is a mystery crime film, and one that is perhaps more interesting for its backstory than its actual contents. The Arriviste is special in the realm of low-budget, independent filmmaking because Paschal Santschi, the man behind nearly everything in the film, chose to shoot the picture on 35mm film. But wait, isn’t that cost-prohibitive for an indie movie? Usually it is, but by shooting on leftover film from other productions (an old trick used by many budding filmmakers) and by cutting the film’s crew to basically just himself, he kept the total cost for the production just under $10,000. It’s a remarkable feat and is worthy of praise just for the fact that he did it. What’s impressive about The Arriviste though, is that it actually manages to be a good film too! This is an accomplishment in and of itself, as most truly independent productions (as this is) are amateurish at best. The Arriviste remains professional and the 35mm looks great throughout, making for an enjoyable, twisty little movie.

As I mentioned above, the film opens with a man, William, getting his hand chopped off. This sets into motion a cascading series of events involving William’s unfound dead body that doesn’t let up until the final frame. Our main character is Nick, the brother of William, a simple guy doing his best to live out a small existence in his minuscule apartment as he counts off the days of his probation. William left him a note and some keys to an apartment, leading Nick to start an informal investigation into finding his brother’s body. Along the way he comes into contact with a colorful cast of unsympathetic characters that seek to obstruct his way however they can.

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