January 13, 2016

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"A dystopian sci-fi which suffers from slowing pacing and a lack of imagination"


Mark Demetrius
Year: 2015
Rating: M
Director: Marc Furmie

Jai Koutrae, Kendra Appleton, Todd Lasance

Distributor: Umbrella
Released: December 2015 (DVD); January 22, 2016 (digital and VOD)
Running Time: 94 minutes
Worth: $12.00

FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

…the murkiness gets monotonous…

This high concept (though evidently low budget) dystopian sci-fi thriller is set in America’s Midwest, although it was actually filmed in Sydney and Portland, NSW. The title refers – at least in part – to Operation Terminus, an engagement which has involved the US occupation of Iran. It’s all gone horribly wrong, and a nuclear war appears to be imminent…

Meanwhile, back in the States, the focus is on the less apocalyptic but still dismal problems of three people. There’s David Chamberlain (Jai Koutrae), a widowed small-town mechanic who donated a kidney to his late wife. Her dying words were the portentous statement “Nothing bad will ever last”. Then there’s their distressed daughter Annabelle (Kendra Appleton), and a stereotypically embittered war veteran called Zach (Todd Lasance), who does actually have some reason to be bitter, given that one of his legs was amputated in combat.

A series of untoward and bizarre incidents occur, and it becomes apparent pretty early in the proceedings that some sort of alien life form has arrived. Read no further if you want to retain what little suspense can be generated by this story, but it seems that the organism has the very useful property of being able to repair or reanimate any ruined organs with which it comes into contact. Severed legs, say, or donated kidneys. And then, on a much larger level, there is its implicit potential for use in warfare…

Terminus is slow moving and often underlit – presumably in the interests of ambience, but the murkiness gets monotonous and the creepy soundtrack music does little to alleviate the torpor. And it’s also patently absurd, without the requisite sharp dialogue or imaginative direction to get away with it.

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