Future Shock (1994)
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Segment one is surprisingly tense for a film with a clearly tiny budget. The lead actress' performance is strong enough to sustain the segment, the camera-work creates a good feeling of isolation and vulnerability, and the downplayed musical score adds to the sense of dread throughout. This is the simplest short and uses this to its advantage.
Segment two veers into a more darkly comedic tone. It works due to the entertaining performances of the leads and the effectively surrealist atmosphere. However overall this is the weakest segment, mostly due to feeling out of place with the rest of the film.
Segment three is the best, due to its less goofy attempts at dark comedy over the last segment. It actually offers a fairly entertaining and in depth character study and offers some fairly complex ideas on the nature of mortality. The writing is good, the acting is solid and the humorous moments are well integrated.
Overall I was very impressed by this simple yet effective anthology. Its low budget charm and snappy writing really created an enjoyable tone for this one, and I highly recommend it, despite its quirks.
Future Shock is another terrible anthology film that is a bore to sit through. We're given the standard three stories and in each, nothing happens. And I mean NOTHING. All of the stories deal with a fear; fear of the outside world, fear of bullies, and fear of death. And they're thrown together by a wraparound story involving a new form of psychiatry. Each segment ends with the main character finding out they've been in some kind of advanced virtual reality. So how can we even care about any of this when it's not even happening? Some good actors that are wasted in this crap include Bill Paxton, James Karen, Brion James, and Martin Kove. Avoid this.
The first vignette has sexy Vivian Schilling, a woman afraid of everything under the sun(she makes Adrian Monk look brave), having a paranoia laced evening at home alone. You will literally scream at Vivian for doing some ridiculous things. She spends the majority of her time in a nighty which shows off her amazing features. But her film is the worst if not the most nail-biting.
The second vignette is owned by Bill Paxton as he portrays the roommate from Hell. His geeky roommate allows him to take complete advantage of him, and Bill does so whenever he can.
The last vignette was funny as a man fears that death will take him at any moment, much like his pal who choked to death on an olive.
Not very interesting, as the movie as a whole seems chopped together with very little thought involved. A must for Bill Paxton fans.
This could have been a fantastic movie. It's an anthology film set around the office of a therapist who's come up with a new method of hypnotherapy. Over the course of the day, he sees three of his truly screwed-up patients, subjects them to the hypnosis, and waits. We get to watch what happens during the waiting.
The writing is just shy of good. The acting is just shy of good (save a few memorable performances, most notably from Bill Paxton, back when his contract still allowed him to play sleazy bad guys; he's as good and rowdy in here as he is in Near Dark). The production is just shy of good. Unfortunately, it all adds up to bad, albeit bad in a kind of endearing way. The potential in each of these stories tends to get in the way of the sheer, mindless enjoyment. The exception is the last story, "Mr. Petrified Forest," a shaggy-dog story about a guy having a near-death experience who can't remember how he got outside the gates of heaven.
Ah, the potential. It's worth a free viewing if it pops up on TV, but don't go out of your way. **
It had all of the ear-marks of a bad movie: continuity errors, bad writing, bad acting, bad production value, bad music. I thought that there were a couple points to horror movies. The first is that it is supposed to be suspenseful enough to scare you. This movie gets and F in this category. The second point is that when a character dies, or something bad happens to them, we are supposed to care. This movie gets an F in this regard as well.
The first story, a woman gets mauled by wolves after being afraid that this would happen to her. The next story, an OCD guy dies from not being careful and talks to a dead friend of his. Oh, and then there is the horrific, nail-biting story of a bad roommate. Come on, could you pick topics a little more interesting and a little less common than being alone in a house, being anal-retentive, and having a roommate? Turns out all of these stories where hallucinations, virtual reality induced by a Doctor who in turn uses it himself. Wow, stupid.
Let me explain something, I enjoy watching bad horror movies and laughing at how bad they are. I couldn't do that with this one. It was utter pain to sit and watch. Do not under any circumstance watch this movie. You WILL regret it.