Right from the outset, I was getting vibes of Upgrade from Jay Ness’ futuristic sci-fi nightmare Dark Cloud.
While Leigh Whannell’s bombastic feature went full tilt, Ness’ film is a bit more restrained and carries dread through its stylish, slow-burn quality.
We follow the journey of Chloe, a young girl, trying to put her life back together following a road traffic accident. She signs up for an experimental program where she is waited on hand and foot by a virtual ‘nurse’.
Its quite obvious that things will go pearshaped but it is more a ticking time bomb waiting for the machine and Chloe to clash and things to turn deadly.
The overriding theme of Dark Cloud is surveillance and the paranoia which modern technology instil in many of us, especially in times of lockdowns etc.
It follows a well-trod path in terms of narrative and does lack the punk essence of Upgrade, but Dark Cloud is meant to feel cold and unreliable, to some extent.
Alexys Gabrielle is fantastic as Chloe, with a really layered performance that really conveys the trauma and PTSD she is dealing with following the incident in her past.
Dark Cloud becomes a neon-soaked nightmare, with its vivid colour scheme evoking Giallo colour palettes, and certainly works as a one-time watch.
Dark Cloud screens as part of Grimmfest’s Christmas Horror Nights on Friday 10th December 2021.