The void stares back in Graham Skipper’s debut film, Sequence Break, a visually stunning and compelling nod to Cronenberg and 80’s horror.
Graham Skipper is probably best known for his starring role in the independent cult hit BEYOND THE GATES (2016). But I can safely state that with Skipper’s thrilling directorial debut, SEQUENCE BREAK, we’ll be hearing more of Skipper in the near future as an up-and-coming writer/director.
Starring genre favorite and BEYOND THE GATES co-star Chase Williamson as Oz, SEQUENCE BREAK is set in a repair shop for arcade style video games. Oz is a genius at repairing and breathing new life into broken and forsaken arcade games. Unfortunately for Oz and the shop owner Jerry (Lyle Kanouse), there is not a market for arcade games. Though the lack of customers is bad for business, the quiet and solitude of the repair shop is perfect for Oz who loses himself in work bringing life to dead machines.
Into the shop comes Tess (Fabianne Therese), who shows an interest in Oz and pursues him. As Oz and Tess begin their relationship, a mysterious character only known as The Man (John Dinan) delivers a game-control panel to Oz. Intrigued by the new hardware, Oz inserts it into the body of a non-working arcade game he had been working hard to revive.
The new panel works, and Oz is pulled into a game of constantly shifting and impossible to win gameplay. As Oz’s relationship with Tess deepens, so does his obsession with the new game. Soon Oz is unable to separate what is real and what is in his mind, as the game itself begins to join with Oz.
SEQUENCE BREAK is heavily influenced by Cronenberg body horror and, specifically, his classic film VIDEODROME.
The movie also has the feel of a William Gibson novel, and during many sequences scenes were lit like an Argento giallo film. All these influences are used brilliantly by Skipper to create a film about obsession, regret, and even the power of love.
The mood of the movie is set perfectly by the score composed by Van Hughes. The makeup and special effects are incredibly effective and, at times I’ll admit, gross.
A Shudder streaming exclusive, SEQUENCE BREAK, is yet another winning addition to the ever-expanding library of Shudder movies.
SEQUENCE BREAK is one of the best movies released in the first half of 2018, and will probably be an end-of-year top ten movie for me. I eagerly await for what Graham Skipper has in store for fans next. He is a talent that we will be watching for years to come.