Nekrotronic is a new Australian horror-comedy film made for the digital world. A satirical and sometimes funny look at the way in which technology continues to take over our lives, this B-movie is just wacky enough to catch on with the midnight movie crowd and gain a cult following.
This movie follows a man who discovers that he was born into a group of ancient demon hunters who need his help to fight demons that have begun to possess people through their phones. It’s definitely a weird premise — but it’s so weird that it works. If you like silly, turn-your-brain-(mostly)-off genre movies, you’ll definitely have fun with this movie. Otherwise, you’ll probably find it to be ridiculous and stupid.
The real disappointment in this film is that it doesn’t explore or explain its in-world mythology quite well enough. Perhaps the filmmakers are hoping that the movie catches on and can get a sequel, but the world-building leaves something to be desired. A majority of the context to the world is provided in an expositional animated sequence at the very beginning of the film, and small bits of new information are added every once in a while. The movie world really should have been expanded.
The humor is a bit one-note too. For much of the beginning of the film, you’ll be laughing at the craziness of what is going on. After about the first thirty minutes, you’ll realize that this is pretty much the extent of what the movie is, and while it is still fun to watch for the most part, you will largely stop laughing at what is happening.
Also frustrating is the movie’s lack of character development. All of the characters fit a very clear archetype, and they never break them over the course of the film. Furthermore, none of the characters are given much of a personality. Even the hero, who is supposed to be a compelling figure with whom the audience connects, feels bland. The filmmakers really took the “everyday hero” too far to the extreme.
However, the cast does have some legitimate charm and the actors have good chemistry together. Monica Belluci gives an over-the-top but fun to watch performance as the protagonist. Ben O’Toole shows the potential to be a legitimately likable action star if he is given a character with a bit more depth. Bob Savea is pretty funny as the comedic sidekick. It’s just a shame that their talents aren’t used to their full extent.
On a technical level, this is a B-movie, so you can expect that the visuals to be cheesy. However, for a B-movie, the effects do look pretty cool. Of course, the shots that are heavy in CGI do look cartoonish and fake, but these add to the camp factor of the film. The practical effects and costumes are really good, though.
If you expect Nekrotronic to be brilliant, you’re going about it the wrong way. This film is best enjoyed late at night, with a mindset of hoping to watch some mindless B-movie fun. It’s not the best genre movie you’ll see, but it’s enjoyable enough to be worth watching.
Nekrotronic hits theaters and VOD on August 9.