Sparky Pictures, in association with Templeheart Films and Kenmore Films, are delighted to reveal upcoming British Sci-Fi thriller Blank will be coming to UK Digital Download from 8th January, 2024.
Directed by Natalie Kennedy (Trauma, Down & Out), the film star Rachel Shelley (The L Word), and Heida Reed (One Day, Poldark), and Wayne Brady (The Wayne Brady Show). Blank is written by Stephen Herman (Black Box, The Culling) and produced by Rebecca-Clare Evans (In Another Life).
After checking in at an AI-operated writer’s retreat, Claire finds herself trapped in her unit with a malfunctioning android. As her captor becomes increasingly unstable, she has to outsmart the technology to make it out alive…
I do enjoy a good thriller and with all the talk of AI lately I was intrigued when I heard about Blank, a thriller which is pretty much based on the behaviour of AI. The idea of the film was there and I got it but the implementation for me didn’t quite hit the mark.
The film builds up the story well as we see Claire (Rachel Shelley) struggle finding the words to complete the next book in time for the important deadline, the possible solution appears on screen in the form of an advert about a new writers retreat controlled fully by AI but also claiming to be the perfect solution for writers looking to clear their minds and help them write.
At first glance on arrival it looks a serene place, a reasonable size place set in luxurious surroundings and on the surface perfect to find that bit of creativity. Claire soon settles into her surroundings thanks to the charming butler Henry who is available to her at any time via a hologram. It is at this point we are introduced to a life-like AI robot helper Rita who is on hand at all times to deal with whatever Claire needs. The film starts to get a little darker as we find out that Claire is locked in the house until the book has been completed, meaning she will have no contact from the outside world until her book is finished. Everything seems to be going great and Claire seems perfectly relaxed and has been putting work into her new book but all is about to change as a surge hits the mainframe causing malfunctions to everything that is connected to it which is pretty much everything.
Claire very quickly finds out she is no longer a guest but a prisoner as due to the surge that hit the mainframe Rita is too effected meaning that what was once a serene getaway is rapidly turning into a night mare with Claire not only struggle to get rid of this writer’s block she now is in fear of her own life.
It’s really towards the middle part of the film that I felt it became a little lost, as through the beginning I felt as though it was building up to a proper head turning finale but that didn’t seem to come the story just felt a little like it was rushing to get to the conclusion and seemed to have lost it’s natural path. The story is essentially Rita is there to force Claire to get this book finished that part made sense but watching it felt a little lost especially at the ending (won’t go into details to save any spoilers)
The direction of the film in general was good and the scenes linked together quite well and Rachel Shelley did a good job of portraying a crazed writer but I felt the inclusion of Rita left alot of questions for example who is Rita? Why was she put there? There didn’t seem alot of backing to the character for me.
It certainly wasn’t the worst film I’ve seen but it wouldn’t be one I’d rush to watch again. The idea is a good one but the execution simply just didn’t work for me.