Prisoner X (2016)

(On Cable TV, September 2016) I don’t expect this low-budget Canadian Science Fiction film to escape obscurity, and that’s a shame—at a time when “low budget SF” is so often an excuse for trashy monster movie, Prisoner X serves up a thought-provoking political thriller with a time-travelling prisoner, a secret detention bunker, a worried president and threats of worldwide terrorism perpetrated by all-knowing agents from the future. Romano Orzari and Michelle Nolden star as, respectively, a dangerous agent from the future and a government operative asked to make sense of his actions. Set within a few isolated sets, Prisoner X does a lot with a limited budget. It starts with a decent script, adapted from Robert Reed’s Hugo-nominated short story “Truth”. Good directing by writer/director Gaurav Seth keeps the dread of the story’s atmosphere constant throughout. Prisoner X isn’t a fancy film or a particularly spectacular one, but it successfully reaches its objectives and bring another piece of credence to the idea that good idea-based SF doesn’t need much in terms of special effects or loud action. The film is a challenge to find on legitimate channels (limited availability as DVD and on a second-tier cable channel at the moment) but it’s worth tracking down by anyone interested in low-budget SF.

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