AUTOMATION (2019) Reviews and overview

 

‘The ultimate war machine… has come to work.’

Automation is a 2019 American science-fiction comedy horror feature film about an office robot that goes on a killing mission when it is about to be replaced.

Directed by Garo Setian – making his feature debut – from a screenplay written by Rolfe Kanefsky (director of Art of the Dead; Bus Party to Hell; The Black Room; et al) and Matthew L. Schaffer, the movie stars Parry Shen (Victor Crowley), Elissa Dowling (We Are Still Here), Graham Skipper (Sequence Break), Sarah French and Sadie Katz.

Plot:

When a prototype automated worker robot named Auto has proven successful on the night shift at Alert Insulation, plans are put in motion to replace almost all the human employees with the next generation of robots — but to Auto’s dismay, he is also to be replaced by the new and improved robots — something he refuses to accept and takes murderous action to prevent…

Reviews:

“Setian has said that the goal he and his collaborators had with this film was to tell a “timely story with characters the audience cares about”, and they succeeded in that. I cared about Auto and Jenny and wanted things to go better for them. At the same time, once things fell apart for them I appreciated the violence and bloodshed.” Arrow in the Head

“The drama is too stock and melodramatic to be taken all that seriously. While the comedy is not quite sharp enough to be like Office Space. There are a few funny lines, but otherwise the level is more like Freddy Krueger’s one-liners (like Auto’s misunderstanding of the term ‘crush’).” Cryptic Rock

Automation has all of the makings of a classic slasher. From the final girl trope to bizarre kills. I was enthralled by this movie from beginning to end. Even if science fiction isn’t your go-to genre, you should definitely still be able to find enjoyment in Automation.” Fansided

“This movie is silly, warm-hearted, and fun. Scary? Not really. AUTO’s cute face makes it hard to be afraid of him even as his killing spree washes over the warehouse. But that’s okay. And there’s a Christmas party, so technically that makes this a holiday film, right?” Horror Buzz

“There’s a lot of humor in the film, especially early on during scenes with the employees at work or when Auto takes an interest in getting to know Jenny. These scenes work extremely well and are often surprisingly touching. But the things get bloody as Auto’s programming gets more and more confused and the body count rises in the third act.” Morbidly Beautiful

Automation was surprisingly different than the killer robot movie I thought I was getting, and I can’t be happier about that. The movie had a fresh take on the genre and was paced brilliantly by its humor. The effects and kills were great, with a couple that stood out…” Pop Horror

“It doesn’t quite have the skill or resources to pull off an idea which will inevitably be copied by other directors with more panache. However, to give Garo Setian some credit, without giving anything away, he pulls off a truly heart-warming ending, reminiscent of the best anime auteurs.” Starburst

“Director Garo Setian does a great job capturing the office hijinks and raunchy humor before the narrative by Rolfe Kanefsky and Matthew L. Schaffer turns into a bloody slasher movie. As Linda, Sarah French nails the hilarious one-liners that poke fun at office culture.” Villain Media

” …a confused film that doesn’t seem to be sure of what it wants to be. It’s still an interesting film and I’m giving Automation a guarded recommendation. As long as you know you’re not getting ninety minutes of robotic mayhem you may find it worth a watch. But it’s not the film it’s billed as.” Voices from the Balcony

” …horror fans might find it slightly light on tension and gore but what it lacks in scares, Automation more than makes up for with two formidable female leads, a villain/antihero with real depth (even if he isn’t exactly human), and enough punchy energy to carry it across the finish line.” Wicked Horror

Release:

Epic Pictures’ Dread released Automation in the USA on November 29th 2019 (limited theatrical) and December 3rd 2019 (Blu-ray and Digital).

Cast and characters:

  • Elissa Dowling … Jenny
  • Sadie Katz … Susan
  • Parry Shen … Alan
  • Graham Skipper … Devin
  • Sarah French … Linda
  • Jeff Rector … Bill
  • Anahit Setian … Marci
  • Marv Blauvelt … Mel
  • Josh Fallon … Rick
  • Jeff J. Knight … Auto
  • Jim Tasker … Auto (voice)
  • Tara Cardinal … Private Corrigan
  • Joshua Lou Friedman … Shovel Guy
  • Wes Hubbard … Detective Parker
  • Mary O’Neil … Paramedic Menzler

Production companies:

  • Capital Arts Entertainment
  • Hungry Monster Entertainment
  • Thriller Films

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