DARK CLOUD (2021) Reviews of AI sci-fi thriller

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Dark Cloud is a 2021 science fiction thriller in which a woman subjects herself to artificial intelligence in the aftermath of an accident.

Directed by Jay Ness (shorts: Curse of the Invisible Werewolf; Shear Madness; Silent Hill: Anniversary) from a screenplay written by J.J. Kaiser [as John J. Kaiser]. Produced by Michael Kraetzer, Jay Ness, Nicolás Onetti, Craig Patrick and Jeremy Wanek.

The American production stars Emily Atack (Iron Sky: The Coming Race; Zombie Spring Breakers aka Ibiza Undead; The Hoarder), Alexys Gabrielle, Brittany Benjamin, Hugo Armstrong, Amanda Day and Justen Jones.

Our view:
Despite some déjà vu plot elements, Dark Cloud is still intriguing and there’s an element of creepiness as soon as Chloe (Alexys Gabrielle) is left alone in the test house with artificial intelligence AIDA. This creep factor increases with jocular technician Bruce Montgomery’s arrival (Hugo Armstrong effectively conveys both humour and danger in his role). Chloe effectively pushes back against AIDA’s increasingly intrusive into her personal life but it’s soon obvious – and hardly a spoiler – that violent conflict will ensue.

Direction and camerawork are both unfussy and help to increase the increasingly voyeuristic elements. Meanwhile, Andrea Bursott’s production design is suitably antiseptic and sterile with some neat futuristic touches. Dark Cloud isn’t groundbreaking and the tension is never as palpable as it needs to be but it’s still reasonably engaging and the running time is wisely kept tight so it doesn’t outstay its welcome.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

Other reviews:
“Stylish production design, atmospheric music and good coordination of tech add to the intrigue of a well-structured film that will at times make you question your own mindset and your own place in the world, which is what all good yarns like this attempt to do. Jay Ness directs solidly from John J. Kaiser’s original screenplay. Admittedly, this is a familiar scenario…” Film and TV Now

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