Movie Review: Empathy, Inc (2018)

August 16, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Poor Joel (Zack Robidas) has lost his job, but all is not food stamps, pot noodles, and The Price is Right for our hero as an old friend invites him to invest in a new company Empathy, Inc. What exactly does this operation provide to it’s customers? Why the ability for it’s rich-ass customers to experience life as someone that has nothing by inhabiting their body through VR technology and therefore appreciate what they have in life more. Absolutely nothing will go awry here.

Now honestly, unemployed Joel could just wait a bit and experience this for real minus all the technology and doo-dads, but I digress…

So, what does Empathy, Inc have going for it? First of all; director Yedidya Gorsetman and screenwriter Mark Leidner have delivered a hell of a tight sci-fi thriller with a nice undercurrent of mystery that keeps your putrid peepers locked on the screen throughout, and the truth behind the VR experiment pays off in a great, if nihilistic manner.

Another big plus is the flick’s aesthetics. The moody black and white photography adds a ton of ambiance and a rich chiaroscuro that brings to mind the techniques of film noir. Also of note in the ol’ style department is the shift to first person view when Joel goes balls deep into the VR. this is a great bit of audience immersion into the story and it was a nice touch to the proceedings.

If there is a negative to be had it’s that some of the characters aren’t exactly full of depth, and some of the exposition is a bit on the clunky side… no real deal breakers there, and doubtless the quality of the rest of the picture will make you overlook these hiccups completely.

Bottom line, Empathy, Inc. is a solid sci-fi flick with a unique premise and tons of style that will hold your attention from beginning to end, so slap your eerie eyeballs on it when you can!

 

 

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