Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Nekrotronic (2018) - Shudder Spree

Streaming Services: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Nekrotronic (2018)
Genre: Action, Comedy, Horror
Length: 99 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Create NSW, Entertainment One Features, Guerilla Films, Hopscotch Features, GEM Entertainment, Culture Publishers (CP), Entertainment One, Momentum Pictures, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, eOne Films Spain
Director: Kiah Roache-Turner
Writer: Kiah Roache-Turner, Tristan Roache-Turner
Actors: Ben O’Toole, Monica Bellucci, Caroline Ford, Tess Haubrich, Epine Bob Savea, David Wenham, Berynn Schwerdt, Jay Gallagher, Felix Williamson, Ron Smyck, Goran D. Kleut, Jessica Racz, Nic Westaway, Dave Beamish, James Formosa, Jonathan Formosa, Alex Jewson
Blurb from IMDb: A man who discovers that he is part of a secret sect of magical beings who hunt down and destroy demons in the internet.

Selina’s Point of View:
Let’s face it. After our last movie, absolutely anything would have been an improvement. That said, this film was more than just that, it was amazing.
I remember seeing the trailer when it came out and being intrigued. It looked like a B-movie, but the fun kind. What I saw today exceeded those expectations.
It wasn’t a B-movie at all. It had a decent $10 million budget and it shows. A lot of the graphics were on point, as well as the soundtrack, acting, sets, and just about everything else. Now, I’m not saying it wasn’t campy. It was incredibly over-the-top, but that’s what they were going for, and it works.
What surprised me the most was how well written it was.
Now, I’ll admit, that there were some very typical aspects to the script. There was one point in the film that I guessed a line of dialogue before it was spoken. There were also some plot tropes. Still, when the characters were talking to each other, or reacting to circumstances, it felt organic.
I want to talk about another part of the film that impressed me, but first I need to discuss a pet peeve I have with newer horror films.
As technology has evolved over time, horror movies seem to have tried to ignore it. For example: everyone has a cell phone these days. Instead of addressing that in story, most new horror flicks just default to the ‘out of service’ trope. I hate that. Especially since it would be so simple do something with it. I mean, a 911 operator is still going to accuse you of a prank call if you ring them up about ghosts or vampires or something. Seriously, even if you get through to someone, who’s going to believe you watched someone get possessed? Just saying the phone is ‘out of service’ is a cop out.

You can’t write a script for 1960 and make it work today without adjusting it to fit the evolutions of our world.
Well, you can, but it wouldn’t make sense.
That kind of thing really digs at me. I want newer horror films to take advantage of our modern technology. It seems like creators see the upgrades as a hurdle when, in reality, it has the ability to be a new source of terror.
That’s one of the reasons the plot of Nekrotronic works so well. Characters had a find a way around modern-age technology, or find a way to handicap it. Nothing was done for them. The script used cell phones and the internet – even augmented reality – to tell the tale. It’s because the creators acknowledged the state of our 2018 reality that I was able to become so immersed it.
I also need to compliment Caroline Ford (Anti-Social, Carnival Row, Free Rein) for her acting. Everyone was great, but there was one scene where Ford was post-battle and had blood all over her face. There was a bit of crying involved, and she went for it. It wasn’t ugly-crying, but she was dropping tears at such a level that she was leaving clean streaks through the blood make-up as it went on. It was impressive.
Nekrotronic was pure campy fun. It had all the spirits, demons, and other paranormal creatures you could want for a Halloween movie marathon – and there was a ton of comedic gold mixed in. Although it’s not a movie for critics, this is an entertaining flick for people just looking for something fun.
It’s a Shudder exclusive, and I think it’s worth getting the subscription for.

Cat’s Point of View:
For a little bit, I had Nekrotronic confused with another movie. Whoops. I realized the error of my notion as I watched the opening credits and failed to see the name I was expecting as director. The name is really immaterial, honestly. I just knew then that I wasn’t sure what to expect anymore. I didn’t mind, and my gamble was paid off because Nekrotronic took me on one hell of a ride.
I have an increasingly positive opinion about Australian cinema. Nekrotronic adds to the growing list of good movies that have come from the ‘land down under.’ Of course, there’s always the bonus of getting to listen to glorious Aussie accents throughout the production. I digress…
This movie had a little bit of everything in it. There were huge elements of sci-fi, a generous helping of horror, and a liberal sprinkle of comedy. It was a recipe for delicious fun. I laughed, gasped, and had a blast watching the demon-vanquishing escapades.
I know I was harsh on the last film’s effects, but the distance between that movie and this one could be measured in light-years. Nekrotronic had quite a few elements that required effects. The core supernatural essence of the story called for some heavy-duty cgi, at that. The production got a lot of bang for their bucks here. Nothing felt hokey, and it was seamless enough that I believed every second of it.

This movie even gave me a lot of warm nostalgic fuzzies, as it felt like they paid homage to some classic 80’s horror movies such as Lifeforce (1985) and Hellraiser (1987). There were even some heavy influences from Ghostbusters (1984). I loved how the story drew on these elements without blatantly trying to copy them. It made those tidbits all the more enjoyable to watch.
Some moments were even reminiscent of the zombie horror genre, and even that was done well in setting itself apart from that popular trope. That being said, this was definitely not a throw-back movie. It was clearly set in the current age, if not a little further in the future. There were some great references that cemented that for me.
I really enjoyed the cast, as well. The story gets big kudos for having strong female roles in general, but the ladies portraying them on screen also kicked ass. Monica Belucci (The Brothers Grimm, The Whistleblower, Mozart in the Jungle), Caroline Ford, and Tess Haubrich (Alien: Covenant, Bleeding Steel, Treadstone) were all solid in their roles. Of course, the main character wasn’t a lady – but that’s ok! I was completely invested in the bumbling intensity of Howard, played by Ben O'Toole (The Water Diviner, Hacksaw Ridge, 12 Strong).
To sum up, this was a really well-rounded movie with a little bit of everything in it – and all done well, in my opinion. I had a really good time watching, and barely noticed the passage of time. I think this would be a wonderful addition to a spooky marathon, or just for viewing in general for this Halloween season. It was another killer edition to our Shudder Spree.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 39%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 76%
Metascore – 25/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.8/10
IMDB Score – 5.5/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4.5/5
P.S.: There is one mid-credits scene.
Movie Trailer:

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