ARQ (2016) Reviews and overview

 

ARQ is a 2016 American-Canadian science fiction thriller film written and directed by Tony Elliott. It stars Robbie Amell, Rachael Taylor and Shaun Benson.

In a dystopian future, an engineer trapped in a house and surrounded by a mysterious gang of masked intruders must protect a technology that could deliver unlimited energy and end the wars that have consumed the world. Trapped in a time loop, the engineer and his ex-lover repeatedly suffer the same violent home invasion, while different scenarios and allegiances develop…

The concept dates back to 2008, prior to writer-director Tony Elliot’s work on the television series Orphan Black; the show’s creators hired him based on his unproduced script. The script had been optioned but remained in development hell for years. After the rights reverted to Elliott, Netflix offered to produce it. The film was released on Netflix worldwide on September 16, 2016.

ARQ features an ambient yet throbbing synth score by Keegan Jessamy and Bryce Mitchell.

Reviews:

” …Robbie Amell and Rachael Taylor work so well to keep it fresh. Throughout the movie, things evolve and new plot twists manage to change Renton’s perspective on things. This also means we get to see the actors portray characters that develop over time, even if the situation is the same over and over again.” Heaven Horror

“Right around the time we start to worry that this infinite-loop business might be getting old, the film goes off the rails, having tossed in so many complications we give up the prediction game and just watch. Amazingly, given how many time-travel pix collapse in a tangle of logic around this point, ARQ knows how to wrap its paradoxes up in a way we can hardly criticize.” The Hollywood Reporter

“Taylor and Amell propel the action with suitably taut performances, while Elliot keeps the writing and direction tight, making sure that the twists continue surprise right until the end. With almost the entire movie taking place in just a few rooms with no more than a handful of characters, it’s a small package that delivers a sizeable punch.” The Sydney Morning Herald

Cast and characters:

Robbie Amell as Renton (Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster as Fred; Left for Dead)
Rachael Taylor as Hannah / Mother (The Darkest Hour; Shutter; See No Evil)
Shaun Benson as Sonny
Gray Powell as Grimm / Father
Jacob Neayem as Brother
Adam Butcher as Cuz
Tantoo Cardinal as The Pope
Nicolas Van Burek as News Anchor
Jamie Spilchuk as Mobius Common

Filming locations:

Toronto, Canada