THE BETA TEST (2021) Reviews and Arrow streaming news

  

Arrow has announced that The Beta Test will be available for streaming on March 11th 2022.

Meanwhile, here is our previous coverage of this recommended movie:

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‘Embrace temptation’

The Beta Test is a 2021 dark satire about an engaged Hollywood agent who succumbs to the offer of an anonymous carnal encounter; he then becomes ensnared in a sinister world of lying, infidelity, and digital data.

Written, directed, edited by and starring Jim Cummings (The Wolf of Snow Hollow; Thunder Road) and PJ McCabe (actor in The Wolf of Snow Hollow; The Block Island Sound; 13 Cameras; The Den). Produced by Mat Braddy, Natalie Metzger, Matt Miller, Edward Song and Benjamin Wiessner.

The American-British movie also stars Virginia Newcomb, PJ McCabe, Kevin Changaris, Olivia Grace Applegate and Jessie Barr.

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Plot:

Shortly before his wedding, ruthless talent agent, Jordan (Jim Cummings) receives a mysterious envelope offering a no-strings-attached carnal coupling with a stranger in a hotel room. Initially amused, then intrigued, he becomes obsessed by the idea and impulsively accepts. But will he regret his choices when his meticulous, superficial world threatens to collapse under the weight of his burgeoning lies?

Reviews:

” …it gets too ambitious for its own good: There’s a good amount of paranoia tucked in about the modern age of the internet, Jordan’s online footprint being part of the catalyst for his demise. The threads about data scraping, the scathing satire, and the thriller at the heart of it all never quite cohere properly and make for a particularly muddled ending. But the main targets here are clear as day, and they’re lined up cleanly in the crosshairs to be hit square in the chest.” The Austin Chronicle

The Beta Test is a scathing satire which takes a bloody knife to the bullshit of Hollywood representation using a combination of darkly comedic writing and a beautifully overblown lead performance. It’s impressive stuff from co-writers, directors and stars Cummings and McCabe. While not every arrow hits its target, most do […] The Beta Test is a sociopathic rollercoaster ride.” Backseat Mafia

” …a film full of dark humour that doesn’t just feel there for the sake of it, serving the narrative well while ensuring you a good few laughs throughout […] Jim Cummings leads the film with a great turn as the man desperately searching for the truth behind his sordid escapades. Cummings does the dark humour so well and he adds another layer to his performance here with Jordan’s professional and personal life going to sh*t at every given opportunity.” Barton Reviews

” …a mixed bag that feels as much a character study as an offbeat dark comedy. The plot feels deliberately off-kilter and chaotic which make it oddly compelling although this won’t be for everyone.” Bloody Flicks

” …there’s plenty of material about the brutality of the agent system, which is soon joined by an assessment of digital footprints and their power to ruin lives. The Beta Test tries to be everything, keeping Cummings out in front with a twitchy lead performance. It ultimately takes on too much, but the production nails some aspects of employment and cohabitation, offering unsettling realism when it comes to the way people treat one another.” Blu-ray.com

“Does the film bite off more than it can chew? Almost certainly. But it’s that ambition, allied to Cummings’ raw nerve of a performance, and the overall off-kilter rhythm of the film that make it so compelling […] The Beta Test is a fearless piece of filmmaking from Cummings and McCabe. Darkly comedic throughout, and pulsing with energy, style, and fever-pitched anxiety.” Entertainment Focus

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” …Cummings and McCabe keep the script tightrope walking on the brink between comedy, horror and thriller as he has his blindfold encounter. Afterwards, of course, there’s only the abyss and questions about who it was, why it was, what does it all mean? Cummings and McCabe want to have it all – and go a fairly long way towards getting it. There’s savage bite to this satire not just regarding the film world…” Eye for Film

“Despite an unnecessarily violent opening that suggests a different kind of film, Cummings and McCabe have made a smart, unsettling thriller that has a lo-fi but undeniably Hitchcockian vibe, with a mystery to be solved and an unwitting sleuth forced to try to clear his name. Disturbing, smart and nihilistic AF…” Film Authority

” …the movie’s imagining of business plans built on the massive harvesting of personal data is only half-convincing. But that’s no big obstacle to the story it tells, in which the conspiracy that gets Jordan in trouble matters much less than how he reacts to his bad choices. Individual scenes showcasing this behavior start to feel familiar as the film progresses…” The Hollywood Reporter

The Beta Test does seem like a toothless satire that fails to sink its teeth into the politically fraught issues that it wants to target. Unfortunately, the film feels like it’s a few years behind the times and struggles to keep up with a world that is constantly changing and evolving. This might have seemed pungent and highly relevant in the pre-#metoo era but, from a modern perspective, it doesn’t break any new ground.” Keith Loves Movies

The Beta Test moves at a brisk pace, carried by Cummings energetic performance and the filmmakers’ masterful direction, but if there’s anything that makes this film a Beta and not an Alpha, it’s a muddled third act that’s more head-scratching than satisfying, which is a kiss of death for any film centered entirely on a mystery. The Beta Test leaves you hanging on just about every question you might have while adding others that overcomplicate an otherwise straightforward mystery.” Killer Horror Critic

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“It works as a thriller in that it’s compelling, tense and delivers actual jeopardy. But it’s also wry and witty, with a sharp tongue aimed squarely at the insidious nature of Hollywood talent agencies and the fallacy of online personas. It’s a tight, frenetically edited thriller-comedy that’s bold, confident and fun.” Loud and Clear

The Beta Test doesn’t always work, with the storytelling a little too chaotic and unfocused at times. But you don’t really watch a Jim Cummings movie for its story. You watch it for his unique screen presence, which keeps you gripped throughout, hanging on his characters’ every word.” The Movie Waffler

“The film is entertaining and viewers will laugh watching Jordan’s behavior. They will wonder how far Jordan is willing to go find out who is pulling the strings. The Beta Test is a murky critique of the industry, society and the level of phony this world expects.” Nightmarish Conjurings

The Beta Test is a furtive satire of Hollywood corruption, a libidinous thriller about how the treacherous risks of adultery have been magnified by #MeToo and the age of digital tracking, and a nightmare of Internet consumerism run amok […]The Beta Test, like Cummings’ The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020), is almost too ambitious, tucking a surfeit of ideas into its heightened surrealist mindscape. Yet the movie, at its best, holds you in its grip.” Variety

Release date:

In the US, IFC Films will release The Beta Test in select theatrical locations, On-Digital and On-Demand on November 5, 2021.

Main cast and characters:

Jim Cummings … Jordan
Virginia Newcomb … Caroline
PJ McCabe … PJ
Kevin Changaris
Olivia Grace Applegate
Jessie Barr … Lauren
Christian Hillborg
Malin Barr … Annie
Jacqueline Doke … Jaclyn
Wilky Lau … Raymond
Ammar Aldieri … Trent

Trailer:

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