MACHINATION (2022) Reviews of psychological horror

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‘Breathe in fear’
Machination is a 2022 psychological horror film about an anxious young woman forced to confront the monsters that haunt her when news of an out of control pandemic has gripped the world and mass panic is pushing humanity into an uncertain future.

Co-produced and co-directed by Sarah Jayne and Ivan Malekin from a screenplay written by the latter.

The Maltese production stars Steffi Thake, Rambert Attard, Sean James Sutton and Andrew Bonnello.

Maria, a sensitive and anxious woman, struggles to cope with self-isolation. With fear mounting and the demands of the world closing in, Maria is forced to confront her past and the monsters that surround her … both without and within.


PR blurb:
“Claustrophobic, intense, and led by a gripping performance by Steffi Thake, Machination is a sharp, spiralling thriller about the consequences of breathing in constant fear.”

“Is it a critique on those that did take care of others? Is it exploitation as it concentrates so intently on numerous shower scenes? Is it some strange fetish video of watching someone prep during a pandemic? Who can say?” B&S About Movies

“This is a low-budget, indie affair; the distributor claims it cost 6,000 Euros. It was shot mostly in an apartment, mostly with just Maria. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting, at times powerful film. An oddball mix of Covid skepticism, feminist critique, and exploitation horror.” Communist Vampires

“Sure, I enjoyed the ending, but it didn’t make me feel any differently about the rest of the film. I still didn’t like its boring main character, its mostly meandering and directionless plot, and its very random and haphazard imagery, so I’m sad to say that I simply can’t recommend this movie.” Horror Obsessive

“It’s not an easy movie to watch, but it’s admirably unflinching in the way it observes Maria’s tics and phobias, showing how even something as seemingly benign and beneficial as hand-washing can become emblematic of a deeper self-loathing.” Los Angeles Times

“It’s not about going against science. It’s about maintaining the mental stability that science has provided as it progresses. That opening sequence in Machination speaks volumes about us and what we did. It paints a stark version of what we forced many to do. And the film shows, in a tragic way, how weak we sometimes are when it comes to facing our reality.” 4/5 Movie Blogger

Cast and characters:
Steffi Thake … Maria
Mikhail Basmadjian … Father
Sean James Sutton … Ian
Andrew Bonello … Peter
Nicole Thake … Young Maria
Matteo Testa … Young Yorgen
Simone Ellul … Newsreader
Rambert Attard … Yorgen
Monika Kopcilova … Woman in car

Film facts:
Machination was an entirely improvised film.

Machination will premiere on Digital platforms via the Nexus Production Group on May 20, 2022.


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