Mindhack Review: A young computer coder finds himself hunted by a mysterious man as he seeks to create world peace by hacking the human mind.
Mindhack gets its European premiere at London’s 2017 Horror Channel Frightfest. Though the name suggests a weekend full of horror, the event celebrates the dark heart of cinema, encompassing all genres. In Mindhack we get a dark and deadly science-fiction story that explores what it is to be human.
Mason (Chris Mason) is a brilliant computer hacker who wants to save the world. Spurred on my his inner-voice he seeks to create World peace by hacking the impossible, the human brain. Mason believes that if we can reset the human mind then we will move away from wars and hate, and can instead exist in harmony. However, there are other forces out there trying to achieve the same task, but only for the polar opposite goal. During the course of his experiments Mason accidentally gives physical form to his inner voice, Finn (Scott Mechlowicz), and the pair must work together to achieve greatness. The only problem is that Finn is now real and wants to explore human experiences; can Mason get Finn, and his experiment, under control before it’s too late?
Mindhack is a complete mind f@*k, it’s forever twisting, turning and twirling and, if you don’t pay attention, it will completely scramble your brain. Director Royce Gorsuch is exploring a lot of concepts and ideas, so much so that it sometimes feels that you’ve accidentally stumbled into a philosophy class. Not a film for a veg on the sofa, this film really gets the grey matter working and is a rather sophisticated piece of science fiction.
Since Mr. Robot burst onto the scene there seems to be a lot of films, in all genres, that are exploring the world of hacking. It’s an interesting topic and it’s great to see it explored in such a dynamic arena. Usually with hacking it’s restricted, with Mindhack we venture into some very different places.
Aesthetically, the film embraces fashions of the late nineties and early noughties, with a strong smattering of Hackers. Other visuals are driven by genre-norms – there’s lots of white, sterilised rooms and neon graphics. There’s an abundance of coloured filters which add to the sci-fi feel whilst also adding a young and cool vibe. Lighting wise it’s science-fiction John Wick. For what must have been a tight budget Gorsuch has managed a high-standard of production values.
Sadly, unlike Hackers there’s no Angelina Jolie here, but Mason and Mechlowicz work great in a strange Doctor Frankenstein and Monster, or Jekyll and Hyde manner. The pair are basically different parts of Mason’s psyche, and having the more ID focused part let loose is a scary thing, and Mechlowicz clearly had a lot of fun with the part.
Out to get Finn and Mason is Eden, played by Faran Tahir as a cyber-fuelled psychopath. Tahir owns every scene he’s in, and has one of the most painful weapons in sci-fi history; it will definitely give you the mother of all brainaches!
The Rules of Attraction meets Hackers, with just a touch of Johnny Mnemonic, Mindhack is a mental puzzle, a true workout for the brain. Strap in, you’re in for a crazy, cerebral, cinematic ride.
Mindhack review by Kat Hughes, August 2017.
Mindhack is currently playing as part of the Horror Channel Frighfest 2017 programme.