INTERPRETERS (2020) reviews and overview

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‘Watch your thoughts’

Interpreters is a 2020 American science fiction horror feature film about a mysterious series of murders that are caused by a dangerous threat. The original title was seemingly the rather cumbersome Interpreters: a C & Earth Chronicle – quantum 1 (sic).

Written and directed by Michael Ryan the Archetype Pictures production stars Rachel Kylian, Terry Maratos and Ace Marrero.


A small-town named Sullen: A mysterious string of murders from a perpetrator using advanced technology forces a former CID and black ops agent to team up with local police, uncovering a larger and more dangerous threat than anticipated…


Interpreters is a film that seemingly emerged from nowhere. It’s just been released digitally and is currently one of the top hits on this particular website. There was no advance publicity we are aware of so it seems people have been checking it out for themselves. In these days of hype and overhype, this is most definitely welcome.

Writer-director-editor and cinematographer Michael Ryan previously directed shorts such as The Recyclist (2012) and The Silencer & the Sky (2007). Perhaps biding his time beforehand, he excels here in presenting the increasingly mysterious and creepy murders and the small-town locals’ paranoia in a way that immediately draw the viewer in. Saying too much more about the plot would involve spoilers.

Dialogue and acting from all concerned, especially Manny Hernandez as the increasingly baffled Sheriff, is natural and transcends the presentation in most low-budget movies. There is clearly an ideology behind the conspiracy-led scenario, especially, when former Black Ops agent Mark Frost (Ace Marrero) says “War isn’t an ideology, it’s a business. It’s weapon sales and corporate acquisition. That’s the game they play, we’re just pawns.” Well, quite.

Meanwhile, British-born composer Alex Newport, whose only other credit is a track on Gus Van Sant’s Wasting Away (1995) contributes a wonderfully low-key brooding electronic score. Rack up the volume when viewing.

Although the movie has a two-hour running time – which would normally suggest some slack – in this case, there is little. Perhaps fifteen minutes could have been shaved off with tighter editing and the film would have benefitted from less muzzle flash histrionics at the climax but this normally impatient reviewer never lost attention. With Interpreters, Michael Ryan has created a movie that fans of sci-fi horror need to seek out.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

” …Interpreters is above all a really solid sci-fi/horror/action hybrid that at times might be a bit too convoluted for its own good to make perfect sense, but it entertains nevertheless by having all the action, all the suspense, all the shocks and bloody bits in all the right places, it moves swiftly enough but gives its central mystery enough space to unfold, and features relatable characters competently brought to life by the movie’s ensemble to keep the audience engaged throughout…” Search My Trash

Interpreters is one of the few films that manages to justify a two hour run time. It does a nice job of laying out the situation without letting things get tedious. Writer/director Michael Ryan manages to avoid long stretches of expository dialogue. Enough information is passed along visually that it isn’t needed.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

Terry Maratos … Counsellor Brightmore
Rachel Kylian … Doctor Hanning
Christopher Kriesa … Mayor Stetson
Ashley Bracken … Jenny
Ace Marrero … Mark Frost
Andy Gates … Trevor
Wolfgang Weber … Deputy Wilson
Stefan Hayek … Graham (as Stefan Hajek)
Sophia Medley … Liz Culven
Sophia Ferguson … Amy
Manny M. Hernandez … Sheriff Paul Culven (as Manny Hernandez)
Erin Stegeman … Reasonor
Jean-Pierre Mouzon … Soldier #2
Jeffrey Nichols … Black Op
Johann Hill … Patron / Covert Operator 1

Technical details:

119 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1


$125,000 (estimated)


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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