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Laramie Movie Scope: Anti Matter

A risky experiment causes an identity crisis

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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August 29, 2017 -- Science fiction films about teleportation effects have been around at least since “The Fly” (1958) but this one is different. For one thing, it isn't a horror film, more of a suspense drama about a mystery following a teleportation experiment.

Ana (played by Yaiza Figueroa) is a student scientist studying the effects of electromagnetic pulse bursts on battery components when she discovers a kind of pulse that makes particles disappear. She decides to investigate further with fellow scientists Nate (Tom Barber Duffy) and Liv (Philippa Carson). They soon discover what happened to the mysterious matter. It has been instantly transported a short distance away. They have discovered the holy grail of teleportation, a revolutionary means of transportation.

In order to secure funding for further experiments, the trio decides to make the jump from animal to human experimentation. Ana steps onto the transporter pad. When she wakes up the next day, strange things begin to happen to her memories and she begins to have doubts about her very identity after the experiment. She wonders if part of her was lost when she was transported, namely her soul.

Most of the film is taken up with Ana's increasing anxiety and paranoia following the experiment. She becomes convinced that her fellow experimenters are messing with her mind and are trying to steal the rights to her lucrative research. She has increasing difficulty forming new memories (as in the film “Memento”) she starts keeping notes to keep a record of what she is doing on a daily basis.

As Ana becomes increasingly unbalanced, she grabs a gun and starts to threaten people. The truth about what happened to Ana is finally revealed late in the film. It doesn't entirely make sense, but the film does a pretty good job of escalating the suspense until we get to the payoff scenes. Yaiza Figueroa does a fine job as the film's main character, and writer/director Keir Burrows does a nice job maintaining the mystery and suspense. This film rates a B.

A few minor quibbles. For one thing, the human teleportation experiment, as depicted in the film is way too risky, entirely unnecessary and very un-scientific. A teleportation machine that transports only non-living matter is a fantastic, incredibly lucrative scientific breakthrough in its own right. Teleporting living people, unharmed, is just the cherry on top of that cake. The experiment is clearly not worth the enormous risks evident at such an early stage in the development of the technology.

Another thing that isn't really explained is how and why a certain person involved in the experiment manages to remain completely out of sight for days on end. This disappearance is very convenient for the plot to develop as it is meant to, but in real life this trick would be very hard to pull off in the way it is shown here.

I saw an early online digital video version of this film without subtitles, so I missed out on some of the dialog due to my own poor hearing and the accents of some of the actors, particularly early on in the film when characters were talking about technical aspects of the experiments.

I assume I didn't miss anything important, but subtitles would have helped me. The film does include subtitles for those portions of the film in which the spoken language is not English. A DVD of this film is currently available in England in the PAL format, with no subtitles (according to the film's listing at the British video rental site Cinema Paradiso). Perhaps subtitles will be included in the North American video release. I am told there will be a blu-ray release of this film featuring a director's commentary in North America in January of 2018.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2017 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)