Peripheral – UK, 2018

Peripheral is a 2018 British science fiction horror feature film directed by Paul Hyett (Heretiks; Howl; The Seasoning House) from a screenplay Dan Schaffer (The Scribbler; Doghouse). The movie stars Hannah Arterton, Tom Conti and Rosie Day.

Plot:

Bobbi Johnson is a young literary sensation facing her difficult second novel. Already dealing with a crazed stalker and her junkie ex-boyfriend, Bobbi is convinced by her publisher to use new smart editing software and finds herself going head-to-head with an artificial intelligence determined to write her book for her.

As the machine manipulates her work to suit its own nefarious ends, Bobbi begins to realise that she is being controlled in ways far more sinister than she suspected. She may, in fact, be a pawn in a conspiracy of social mind control.

Too far down the rabbit hole to turn back, Bobbi must keep writing, fighting her own addictions and hallucinations as she rushes to beat her deadline without selling her soul in the process and becoming a cog in a monstrous machine…

Reviews:

” …an introspective oddity and a dystopian satire of the individual’s place in a closed political system. It’s easily Hyett’s finest film.” Anton Bitel, BFI

“This is Hyett’s third film about women being abused by tyrannical systems […] showcasing a harrowing performance from Arterton. The script is heavy on the literary debate, with chat about Henry Miller, Vonnegut and Shakespeare as well as well-observed barbs about contemporary publishing and the way technology designed to be helpful (spell-check, grammarly) can begin to seem overbearing…” The Kim Newman Web Site

” …a psychedelic visual metaphor for the purity of the creative process being corrupted by drugs and technology to the point of losing all meaning. I won’t go into the specific visual metaphors used, as some are quite shocking. At the same time, they are somewhat clumsy and heavy-handed. Still, they are quite effective at creating a sense of unease in the audience.” Jeff Schmidt, Nightmarish Conjurings

Cast and characters:

  • Hannah Arterton … Bobbi Johnson
  • Tom Conti … Gilmore Trent
  • Rosie Day … Shelly
  • Jenny Seagrove … Merlock
  • Elliot James Langridge … Dylan
  • Connor Byrne … Installer
  • Belinda Stewart-Wilson … Jordan

Technicals credits:

89 minutes

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