‘Motion Detected’ Review – Tech Horror Movie Can’t Overcome a Buggy Script

When it comes to technological horror, it doesn’t take long for stories to become outdated. Something that never changes about the subgenre, however, is the overwhelming fear of daunting and suspicious new tech. With concerns about A.I. and smart devices being so prevalent these days, Justin Gallaher and Sam Roseme understandably tap into that specific dread with their movie Motion Detected.

Motion Detected begins like other tech-horrors; the dangerous device stays the same while the users change. After a family mysteriously disappears, a couple moves into their house. Of course the realtor fails to mention that information during the walk-through. None the wiser, Eva (Natasha Esca) and husband Miguel (Carlo Mendez) move in and get acquainted with Diablo Controls, their bizarrely named security system. The new owners have barely moved in when Miguel is called away for work back in Mexico City, the place they just left because Eva felt unsafe. Miguel’s sudden departure is rather convenient, but for Eva’s paranoia to come out in full force, she needs to be alone with Diablo.

The reason for Eva’s innate edginess is due to her near death experience back in Mexico City; she survived a run-in with a local killer dubbed El Diablo. You can see where this is going. So with Miguel gone and an already overzealous security system on the fritz, Eva starts to come undone. If it’s not one Diablo after her, it’s another. The system continues to alert Eva to someone else being in the house, but all she sees in the live feed is a video glitch that bears a striking resemblance to a person. Or to be more precise, a little girl.

The modern lack of privacy comes up often in Motion Detected. When the Diablo security technician isn’t creeping up on the protagonist during her personal time, Eva is consumed with invasive neighborhood message boards and apps. This is a transparent attempt at pointing out society’s crumbling resistance to constant surveillance and unauthorized data collection. The movie addresses these largely unopposed caveats of new technology with only an ounce of subtlety, but even that is handled better than the actual main plot. The ambition runs out as soon as Eva’s worst fears are confirmed.

With Eva firmly planted in the role of the hapless and technologically inept victim, the movie goes on to show the irony of hers and many others’ security nightmares. After being fearful of another break-in and being dependent on gadgets and A.I. to keep herself safe, Eva doesn’t realize the real intruder has been inside with her all along. Indeed it’s not exactly the most groundbreaking of revelations.

Natasha Esca makes the best of a buggy script that plays out like an episode of ‘90s Outer Limits, although the outcome here is far less shocking. Motion Detected wants to tell a story about security anxiety, and there are times it starts to say something almost insightful, yet ultimately the whole affair gets buried under a dense tangle of loose wires and flat metaphors. 

Motion Detected is now available on DVD and Digital.

Motion Detected

The post ‘Motion Detected’ Review – Tech Horror Movie Can’t Overcome a Buggy Script appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.